Customs and Border Protection officers said a drug-sniffing dog is responsible for the largest seizure of fentanyl in United States history.
According to Nogales, Arizona, CBP Port Director Michael Humphries, on Saturday 254 pounds of the synthetic opioid fentanyl – blamed for thousands of overdose deaths in the United States and across the globe – were located in the floor compartment of a truck carrying cucumbers. In addition, 395 pounds of methamphetamine were also located in the truck. The Mexican driver of the truck was immediately arrested.
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Customs and Border Protection officers valued the fentanyl at $3.5 million and the methamphetamine is estimated to be worth $1.1 million.
Mexican drug trafficking into the United States via the southern border continues to be an issue for Customs and Border Protection, with most tractor-trailers and passenger vehicles coming through different ports of entry in the Nogales, Arizona, and San Diego areas-amongst others.
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According to Time.com, officials with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have said that while 85% of the illicit fentanyl is being seized at San Diego-area border crossings, an increasing amount is also being detected on the Mexican border with Arizona. The Sinola cartel control this area.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says in a recent report that fentanyl is now the drug most often associated with fatal overdoses in the US, accounting for more than 18,000 or almost 29% of the 63,000 overdose fatalities in 2016.
Rep. James Jordan tweeted on Thursday, “Largest fentanyl bust in history. Border Patrol seized enough fentanyl to kill 57 MILLION people. That’s more than the population of Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Minnesota, and Iowa. COMBINED. We have a crisis on our southern border.”