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Crisis: Illicit Drugs Getting Through Border because of Immigration Crisis ‘Chaos’

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Just last week, 10 people died from fentanyl overdoses in Will County, Illinois in only 24 hours. The population is small, under 700,000, and the Illinois Department of Public Health said the deaths appear to be linked to a batch of cocaine laced with fentanyl.

In one day of that same week, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol agents seized 22 pounds of fentanyl at the Hidalgo International Bridge at the U.S.-Mexico border.

The fentanyl seizure was valued at $339,300, and was found stashed inside a vehicle “selected for inspection at the border crossing.”

“Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid used medically for pain management, can be lethal in quantities as tiny as two milligrams. Illicit fentanyl is manufactured relatively cheaply by cartel labs in Mexico, often using precursor chemicals imported from China” reports The Foreign Desk.

Opioid-related deaths in America have increased dramatically every year since 2013, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted a “surge in the availability” of illicitly manufactured fentanyl. In 2017, then-President Donald Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency. Yet, without stemming the flow of illicit drugs across the border, the death toll continues to rise.

Overdoses of fentanyl have become the leading cause of death among adults between the ages of 18 and 45, with 41,587 individuals in that age group dying specifically from fentanyl in 2021 alone. Deaths often occur when other drugs, such as Percocet, cocaine, or Xanax are laced with or replaced by fentanyl.

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Immigration

$18 million dollars’ worth of methamphetamine hidden within a shipment of squash

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the Otay Mesa Commercial Facility discovered $18 million dollars’ worth of methamphetamine hidden within a shipment of squash.

Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) revealed in a press release on Monday, at approximately 6:47 a.m.,that CBP officers encountered a 44-year-old male driving a commercial tractor-trailer with a shipment manifested for squash. The driver, a valid border crossing card holder, was referred for further examination by CBP officers along with the tractor-trailer and shipment.

Non-intrusive scanning technology was utilized to conduct a full scan of the tractor trailer which showed irregularities and CBP officers requested a CBP human and narcotics detection canine. The canine team responded and alerted officers to the presence of narcotics.

A total of 1,419 packages concealed within the shipment of squash was discovered and extracted. The narcotics were tested and identified as methamphetamine with a total weight of 11,469 pounds with an estimated street value of $18,350,400.

“Our officers’ commitment to duty, excellence, and the safety of our nation is truly commendable. These results serve as an outstanding display of effectiveness in thwarting the illegal importation of narcotics,” stated Rosa E. Hernandez, Otay Mesa Area Port Director. “Their exceptional efforts truly embody the highest standards of service.”

The seizures are part of Operation Apollo, a holistic counter-fentanyl effort that began on October 26, 2023 in southern California, and expanded to Arizona on April 10, 2024, the CBP release reveals. Operation Apollo focuses on intelligence collection and partnerships, and utilizes local CBP field assets augmented by federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial partners to boost resources, increase collaboration, and target the smuggling of fentanyl into the United States.

The CDC states that more than 150 people die every day from drug overdoses related to synthetic opioids derived from fentanyl.

 

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