Monday, 15 July, 2019

Border protection agents make largest fentanyl bust in USA history

Border agents report record fentanyl haul hidden in truckload of Mexican produce Northbound trucks wait to cross the border from Nogales Mexico to Nogales Ariz
Patty Aguilar | 03 February, 2019, 12:55

The sensitive nose of a drug-sniffing dog has led to what federal officials say is the largest seizure in USA history of fentanyl, the synthetic opioid blamed for the majority of overdose deaths.

Customs and Border Protection officers said they discovered more than 200 pounds of fentanyl hidden in a floor compartment of a truck loaded with cucumbers. Agents also seized almost 395 pounds of methamphetamine with a street value of $1.18 million.

"The size of a few grains of salt of fentanyl, which is a unsafe opioid, can kill a person very quickly", Mr Humphries explained.

The seizure, he said, had prevented an enormous number of doses of the drug 'that could have harmed so many families'.

President Donald Trump has insisted his proposal for a border wall will reduce such deaths and stem drug trafficking, but CBP data indicate the vast majority of fentanyl, methamphetamine and other hard drugs are seized from vehicles attempting to drive through official ports of entry.

The fentanyl is valued at $3.5 million and was mostly in powder form, though officials said some pills were also found in the bust.

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The bust came as President Donald Trump has demanded Congress give him $5.7 billion to build walls along the US-Mexico border to prevent the entry of both illegal immigrants and risky narcotics.

"This represents the largest fentanyl seizure in CBP history", said Humphries, standing beside armed CBP officers and a table stacked with dope.

"The size of a few grains of salt of fentanyl, which is a unsafe opioid, can kill a person very quickly", Nogales CBP Port Director Michael Humphries said.

It was the third largest meth seizure at port of entry in Arizona.

Agents arrested the driver, a 26-year-old Mexican national, and charged him with two counts of possession with intent to distribute. The AP added that it's seen as a white powder that's mixed with heroin for an extra kick and in the form of blue pills that are counterfeits of prescription drugs like oxycodone.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says in a recent report that fentanyl is now the drug most often involved in fatal overdoses across the country, accounting for more than 18,000, or nearly 29 percent, of the 63,000 overdose fatalities in 2016.

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