Lawmakers in the United States and Mexico are calling for further investigation by the federal government about reports of several pharmacies in Mexico selling counterfeit medications. The initial investigation was conducted by the Los Angeles Times, which revealed that the medications are being laced with “powerful narcotics, including fentanyl and methamphetamine” writes Foreign Desk News.
The investigation by the LA Times was conducted by reporters who traveled to three cities in northwestern Mexico and tested 17 pills purchased over the counter from pharmacies. Reporters discovered 12 tested positive for fentanyl or methamphetamine.
Federal prosecutor in Mexico Gilda Alejandra Llera Muñoz said that in response to requests, her office plans to investigate the findings, describing it as a new “modus operandi” that brings to light questions like whether pharmacies are deliberately breaking the law.
Speaking to the LA Times, Llera said authorities in Mexico “need to find where in the process they are faking the pills” and determine “if pharmacies are involved in criminal activity, or they do not know if they are selling medications with fentanyl.”
Veteran FBI Special Agent Robert Chacon told The Foreign Desk “This is a very interesting and disturbing new modus operandi by the cartels. But we have always known the cartels are well organized and well financed and usually at least one step ahead of the government when it comes to new technologies used to enhance their operations.”
“The U.S. should make every effort to address the new front in the fentanyl crisis. This would include everything that can be done within the U.S. as well as assisting the Mexican government in its battles with the cartels. The FBI and the DEA already maintain robust presence within Mexico and have for decades. This presence of FBI and DEA agents stationed all over Mexico should be employed in the effort to stop fentanyl from being distributed via Mexican pharmacies,” Chacon added.
Canadian-U.S. border illegal crossings up 240% over previous year
The vulnerability of the northern border of the United States is being weaponized in the war on illegal migration. 2023 saw a 240% increase of individuals apprehended from just one year prior. Not only is the border with Canada significantly longer than its border with Mexico, but its ports of entry are often understaffed while the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is forced to prioritize the southern surge.
According to recent data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection, in 2023 authorities halted over 12,000 migrants attempting illegal crossings at the Canadian border. The number is a 240% increase from the preceding year when 3,579 individuals were apprehended.
ADN America reports that approximately 70% of the illegal crossings took place along a 295-mile stretch along the northern New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire border called the Swanton Sector.
Chief patrol agent for the sector, Robert Garcia, posted on social media that the 3,100 individuals apprehended were from 55 different countries.
Garcia wrote “the record-breaking surge of illegal entries from Canada continues in Swanton Sector” and he specifically mentioned that the arrest of 10 Bangladeshi citizens was prompted by a citizen’s report in Champlain, New York.
Surprisingly, ADN reports:
A significant number of those engaging in illegal crossings are Mexicans who exploit the opportunity to fly to Canada without a visa, also avoiding the presence of cartels in their home countries.
Experts suggest that migrants can purchase a $350 one-way plane ticket from Mexico City or Cancun to Montreal or Toronto. This route is perceived as offering a lower likelihood of being turned away compared to those crossing the southern border.
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