History has been made in the worst of ways. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) data shows 2021 was the first time in American history that federal law enforcement seized more of the deadly drug fentanyl than heroin at our borders.
Data shows 11,200 pounds of fentanyl was seized in 2021 compared to 5,400 pounds of heroin. The numbers were double that of 2020’s fentanyl seizures. 319,447 pounds of marijuana, 190,861 pounds of methamphetamine, 97,638 pounds of cocaine and 10,848 pounds of ketamine were also seized in 2021.
Taking the 2022 fiscal year into account, 2,158 pounds of fentanyl has already been seized. 277 pounds of heroin have also been seized in the same time period. The Washington Examiner reports:
Not only were fentanyl seizures at the highest level ever recorded, but fentanyl overdoses within the United States also hit new highs, indicating the success that transnational criminal organizations had in pushing their deadly products to the public. A DEA investigation this fall found a direct link between criminal drug organizations in Mexico and fentanyl-related overdose deaths.
Many drug users are unaware they are taking the substance because street drugs are being laced with fentanyl, making even the most dangerous of illicit drugs deadly.
The Examiner adds, “Because just a few grains of the substance is all it takes for a user to feel its effect, its value per ounce is higher than other drugs, such as cocaine or methamphetamine. For example, the DEA states 2 milligrams is enough to kill someone who inhales, consumes, or injects it.”
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) additionally “seized 20.4 million pills that were fake versions of prescriptions and pumped full of fentanyl. The pills were enough to kill every American, according to the DEA.”
Due to small dosages of the drug being so potent, “it also makes it significantly easier for the criminals transporting it to sneak into the country.”
The Examiner also reported on the deadly drug’s connection to Wuhan, China:
Mexican cartels purchase the ingredients for fentanyl from labs in Wuhan, China . The cartels will produce the fentanyl from those ingredients and push it into the U.S. Chinese-based financiers launder the profits for the cartels out of the U.S., back to China, and on to Mexico.
The cartels are in the business of selling whatever drug brings in the most money and is easiest to produce. Through the decades, federal law enforcement at the U.S.-Mexico border has seized millions of pounds of drugs — most of which was marijuana.
Over the past five years, marijuana seizures have significantly declined as U.S. states legalized recreational cannabis and legal grow operations began in the U.S. Because marijuana can only be grown in certain climates, similar to cocaine, it made drugs such as fentanyl and methamphetamines more attractive because they can be produced anywhere, any time.
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Pentagon puts 8,500 American Troops on ‘Heightened Alert’ over Russia Threats
During a news briefing Monday, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has placed 8,500 troops on “heightened alert.” Kirby stated, “I want to reinforce that as of now, the decision has been made to put these units on higher alert and higher alert only. No decisions have been made to deploy forces form the United States at this time.”
Kirby is referring to a possible deployment of American military forces to Eastern Europe in order to aid our NATO allies as potential options against Russia’s threats to invade Ukraine. Conversations are underway with NATO countries that could receive American support, he added.
NBC News reports “NATO said Monday that it was sending sh9ps and fighter jets to Eastern Europe and that Washington ‘has also made clear that it is considering increasing its military presence in the eastern part of the Alliance.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Monday that President Biden plans to speak to European leaders including NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Polish President Andrzej Duda, French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi by video conference.
Psaki said “we expect they will discuss diplomacy, deterrence and defense efforts” and there will “certainly” be discussion about sanctions. “We have been consulting with allies and deployments and refining plans for all scenarios” she added.
“We have always said we would reinforce our allies on the eastern flank and those conversations and discussions have certainly been part of what our national security officials have been discussing with their counterparts now for several weeks.”
NBC News reports that “among the options presented for the U.S. military in advance of an invasion were bomber fights over the region, ship visits into the Black Sea and the moving of troops and some equipment from other parts of Europe into Poland, Romania and other countries neighboring Ukraine.”
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