On Wednesday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized over 103 pounds of heroin and fentanyl pills at the Port of Nogales on the Arizona-Mexico border, according to a Thursday CBP press release.
The drugs, estimated to be worth $1 million, were discovered under the floor compartment of a 21-year-old U.S. citizen’s sedan Wednesday morning when he was attempting to enter the United States.
When he attempted to enter the U.S. through the checkpoint, CBP officers requested that the vehicle receive an additional inspection. During the more thorough secondary inspection of the sedan, officers discovered 68 drug packages under the floor compartment. Of the drugs seized, 102 pounds were heroin and 1.5 pounds were fentanyl, the CBP determined.
“Federal law allows officers to charge individuals by complaint, a method that allows the filing of charges for criminal activity without inferring guilt,” the press release clarifies. It adds that: “An individual is presumed innocent unless and until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”
After the inspection, the officers seized the narcotics and sedan, arrested the man, and then gave him to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations.
Over the past few years, the opioid epidemic has been garnering more attention as it wreaks havoc on many communities throughout the U.S. According to data 2018 data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an average of 128 people die from opioid overdoses every day.
The opioid epidemic is responsible for taking thousands of American lives each year and potent synthetic opioid drugs like fentanyl can cause overdoses in small amounts. Sara A. Carter produced the film “Not in Vein” in 2018 to highlight the dangerous trafficking of those drugs. Click here to watch the film.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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Historic House Vote Expels Rep. George Santos Amidst Scandal
In a turn of events, the House of Representatives made history on Friday with a vote to expel Rep. George Santos (R-N.Y.), marking the first such expulsion in over two decades. A moment fraught with gravity unfolded as Speaker Mike Johnson wielded his gavel to formalize Santos’ removal, setting a precedent in congressional annals.
Santos, indicted on 23 counts related to wire fraud, identity theft, and other charges, has not faced conviction but stands accused of misusing campaign funds for opulent purchases. The bipartisan vote, tallying 311 to 114, signaled robust support for expulsion, with a marginally higher number of Republicans opting to retain Santos.
Questions loomed as Speaker Johnson left the chamber, his silence leaving the fate of the ongoing government spending battle uncertain. According to reports from Fox News, Democratic Rep. Steny Hoyer emphasized the non-partisan nature of the decision, asserting that members concluded Santos had tarnished the House’s reputation and was unfit for representation.
Within the GOP, conflicting opinions emerged, with Rep. Darrell Issa arguing against expulsion, citing the presumption of innocence. The tight-lipped stance of the House Ethics Committee played a pivotal role in the deliberations.
Conversely, members of the New York Republican delegation, led by Rep. Marc Molinaro, asserted Santos’ commission of crimes, justifying expulsion based on a comprehensive investigation.
Santos himself predicted the outcome in an exclusive morning interview on “FOX & Friends.” This vote not only underlines the House’s rare use of expulsion powers but also sets a critical precedent in handling members facing severe legal challenges.
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