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CBP Officers Seize Over 103 Pounds of Heroin, Fentanyl Pills at AZ-Mexico Border

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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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Adviser to Fauci bragged about helping him evade FOIA, ‘he is too smart’ to get caught

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The House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic published evidence ahead of a hearing that explains the senior scientific adviser to then-National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Anthony Fauci actually bragged about helping Fauci evade the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

The adviser, David Morens, admitted in his own communications to intentionally evading FOIA by using a Fauci’s private Gmail address or just handing him documents in person, according to the newly disclosed emails.

The 35-page report on Morens includes previously unreleased emails including:

An April 21, 2021 email shows Morens contacted EcoHealth Alliance President Peter Daszak, whom Morens has described as his “best friend” and a U.S. taxpayer conduit for the Wuhan Institute of Virology, as well as Boston University and New England Biolabs researchers.

The subject line references “CoV research in China, GoF, etc.,” referring to EcoHealth-facilitated coronavirus research at WIV that could make a virus more transmissible or dangerous. The National Institutes of Health recently admitted it funded gain-of-function research under that definition but not a stricter regulatory definition.

“PS, i forgot to say there is no worry about FOIAs,” Morens wrote. “I can either send stuff to Tony on his private gmail, or hand it to him at work or at his house. He is too smart to let colleagues send him stuff that could cause trouble.”

A May 13, 2021 email to the same recipients referred to “our ‘secret’ back channel” by which Morens connected Fauci to a journalist named “Arthur,” apparently to discuss the feds’ preferred narrative that SARS-CoV-2 emerged naturally rather than via lab leak. The email cited an article on the message board Virological.

Gerald Keusch, associate director of the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory Institute at BU, emailed Daszak Oct. 25, 2021 to relay a phone conversation with “David,” who is “concerned about the privacy of text” and email sent and received on his “government phone” because they “could be FOIA’able.”

“Tony has told him not to be in touch with you and EHA for the time being,” Keusch wrote. Morens relayed that Daszak should get his story straight on EcoHealth’s claim that NIH locked it out of the system when it tried to file its year-five progress report that disclosed an arguable gain-of-function experiment.

Earlier in the day, Morens told Daszak “i will be meeting with Tony about this later on.” The subject line of the thread was “Draft response to Michael Lauer,” deputy director for extramural research at NIH.

Morens also told Daszak that Fauci and then-NIH Director Francis Collins are “trying to protect you, which also protects their own reputations,” apparently meaning against allegations that U.S. tax dollars passed through EcoHealth funded research that may have led to SARS-CoV-2’s emergence.

The subcommittee said it found emails that revealed “likely illegal” practices, including an April 2020 email in which Morens shared a “new NIAID implementation plan” with Daszak and an August 2020 email in which Daszak mentioned a “kick-back” to Morens after NIH awarded $7.5 million to EcoHealth.

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