The United States Customs and Border Patrol has been very busy, not only with the influx of migrants continuing to come over the border but also with a large amount of fentanyl attempting to be brought across the border. According to the Drug Enforcement Agency or DEA, a major point of entry for fentanyl is the Southwest border.
Mexican cartels, particularly the Sinaloa Cartel, have capitalized on the opioid epidemic and prescription drug misuse and abuse in the United States, flooding communities with illicit fentanyl. Social media is also making it very easy for drug dealers to sell fentanyl. The cartels get the raw materials from China and are then able to produce fentanyl cheaply, and the drug is very profitable for them. Just one kilogram of fentanyl can contain 500,000 lethal doses and depending on a person's body size, tolerance, and past usage of the drug an amount as small as two milligrams can be lethal.
Seizures of fentanyl at the Southern border continue to rise, with 14,104 pounds seized at the Southwest border in fiscal year 2022. The amount seized for the fiscal year 2021 was 10,568 lbs, the fiscal year 2020 was 4,558 lbs, and the fiscal year 2019 was 2,633 lbs.
This weekend, Customs and Border Patrol had the largest bust in history from a traffic stop in Robstown, Texas. They found 25 pounds of fentanyl hidden in a compartment within the gas tank of the vehicle. This amount of fentanyl was enough to kill 5.65 million people.
Then on Sunday, Customs and Border Patrol at the Nogales, Arizona, Port of Entry stopped approximately 440,000 fentanyl pills that were hidden in the seats of a vehicle from entering the U.S.
The United States is also seeing fentanyl deaths continue to rise each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention note there were 100,306 overdose deaths in 2021, which was an increase of 28.5% from the 78,056 deaths in 2020.