This story was originally published on TheDarkWire.com. Click here to read it there and learn more about the nonprofit and our work.
Border Patrol agents in Yuma, Arizona discovered and intercepted enough fentanyl, a highly-potent synthetic opioid, to kill 200,000 people, according to a recent U.S. Customs and Border Protection press release. The seizure was made last Thursday at the Wellton Station, which makes up 65 miles of the U.S. border with Mexico, when agents were inspecting a vehicle moving through the checkpoint.
A Border Patrol canine alerted agents to the vehicle and a secondary inspection uncovered two plastic bags wrapped in hospital gowns full of fentanyl pills. The packages weighed 1.276 pounds and were valued at $18,500.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. Derek Maltz, who once charged the Drug Enforcement Agency’s special operations division, says it takes the equivalent of four grains of salt in fentanyl to kill the average adult male.
Maltz appeared in The Dark Wire’s 2018 documentary “Not in Vein.” Click here to watch the film.
Although overdose death rates decreased by 4.1% between 2017 and 2018, synthetic opioid-related overdose deaths rose by 20% in 2018. In 2018, synthetic opioids, like fentanyl, claimed the lives of nearly 31,335 Americans, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control estimates.
“Decreases in overdose deaths involving prescription opioids and heroin reflect the effectiveness of public health efforts to protect Americans and their families,” said CDC Director Robert R. Redfield, M.D. in a March 2020 statement. “While we continue work to improve those outcomes, we are also addressing the increase in overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids. We must bring this epidemic to an end.”
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Rep. Matt Gaetz Confronts Speaker McCarthy in Fiery House GOP Meeting
In a closed-door House GOP conference meeting on Thursday morning, tensions flared as Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) confronted Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), accusing him and his allies of orchestrating an online campaign against him with the help of “MAGA influencers.”
According to reports from Fox News, the exchange was marked by what was described as “fireworks.” Gaetz directly addressed McCarthy, alleging that “MAGA influencers” had been paid to attack him on social media. McCarthy promptly denied the accusation, dismissing Gaetz’s claims.
Speaker McCarthy dismissed Gaetz’s allegations, indicating that he had no intention of engaging in such activities. In the same meeting, another source revealed that McCarthy questioned Gaetz’s commitment to the GOP’s goals, pointing out that he was personally dedicating his efforts to allocate $5 million to support GOP candidates and members with the aim of strengthening their majority in the near future. McCarthy’s remark seemed to challenge Gaetz regarding his contributions toward achieving a stronger Republican majority.
In response to Gaetz’s allegations, some members of the GOP caucus expressed frustration. According to a second source, one lawmaker told Gaetz to “f— off,” while another referred to him as a “scumbag,” according to reports.
Gaetz confirmed the confrontation to reporters as he exited the meeting, explaining, “I asked him whether or not he was paying those influencers to post negative things about me online.” He also confirmed McCarthy’s response, saying, “Yeah, that is what he said.”
When asked about his feelings toward McCarthy during and after the exchange, Gaetz remarked, “My blood pressure is like 120 over 80. So I’m feeling great.”
A spokesperson for Speaker McCarthy categorically denied any involvement in the alleged online campaign, attributing it to a Democrat-backed entity. In support of this claim, Fox News Digital reportedly obtained a screenshot of a cease-and-desist email sent by McCarthy’s outside lawyer to the individuals allegedly behind the campaign.
Furthermore, the email asserted that the campaign falsely claimed to act on behalf of Speaker McCarthy and his affiliated entities and warned of legal consequences if the actions continued.
The exchange in the House GOP meeting underscores the ongoing tension between Gaetz and McCarthy. Gaetz has been threatening to force a House-wide vote on McCarthy’s speakership, alleging violations of a deal struck to secure McCarthy’s election as Speaker in January.
Under the terms of that compromise, McCarthy agreed to allow any lawmaker to trigger a vote on his removal, known as a “motion to vacate.” While Gaetz had hinted at pursuing such a motion earlier in the week, he sidestepped questions on the matter during the recent meeting with reporters.
In the midst of this contentious atmosphere, Gaetz emphasized his current focus on advancing single-subject spending bills, deflecting inquiries regarding the motion to vacate and maintaining his dedication to legislative efforts.
The confrontation between Gaetz and McCarthy underscores the complex dynamics within the Republican caucus as it navigates internal divisions and confronts ongoing challenges on Capitol Hill.
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