A top border official acknowledged Tuesday that enough fentanyl has been seized at US borders in the past three months to kill more than a billion people.
The revelation came after two US Border Patrol chiefs were questioned during a congressional hearing on border security.
Rep. Tim Burchett cited data from the Customs and Border Patrol showing that at least 9,400 pounds of highly dangerous synthetic drugs have been stopped from entering the country since October, with about 7,200 pounds of that seized at the southern border. have gone
“That’s enough fentanyl to kill every American five times,” the Tennessee Republican pointed out.
The 2021 census recorded the US population at 332 million.
The lawmaker’s math was based on information from the Drug Enforcement Administration that as little as two milligrams of the synthetic opioid — an amount small enough to fit easily on the tip of a pencil — is enough to kill a person.
The killer drug is 50 times more powerful than heroin and 100 times more powerful than morphine. Although it is used as a pain reliever in hospitals, it has to be handled and administered professionally to prevent overdose.
However, fentanyl is increasingly killing people who don’t even know they’re using it, because it’s often cut into pills that look like prescription pills and labeled as “Oxytocin” or “Xanax.” is sold under the name
But actually leading to overdose and death for people who don’t know what they’re taking or how strong it is. In 2022, synthetic opioid deaths averaged 70,000 per month. Official datathe highest amount on record.
Drug cartels have turned to trafficking fentanyl over other drugs because it’s cheaper to make and, given its concentration, a small amount of money can make huge profits.
Tucson Sector Chief Patrol Agent John Maudlin told elected officials that any shipment that comes into the country has a high probability of being lethal.
“Last year in the Tucson sector we seized about 700 pounds of fentanyl,” he explained. “Based on the lethality of a single dose of fentanyl, it is enough to kill 21 times the population of Arizona, or essentially half the population of the United States.”
Ruthless smugglers hide fentanyl in coconuts, disguise it as Legos, or hide it in car or tire cavities to bring it across the border. Even a rude woman was accused of harboring it inside her. Baby stuff.
“The biggest concern is liquid fentanyl — it’s the latest threat we’ve seen,” said Chief Gloria Chavez, head of the Rio Grande Valley Sector, explaining what her agents are seeing in Texas.
Despite agents’ best efforts to intercept it at the international border, Modlin acknowledged that fentanyl continues to slip in as it is found in cities across the country.
In Arizona, inland Border Patrol posts have been closed for months due to staff shortages. The purpose of the inspection centers is a second line of defense to catch any drugs or illegal immigrants who make it across the border.
You are preventing agents from doing their job. That’s how the drugs get to other places,” Arizona’s Yuma County Supervisor Martin Porchas told the Post of three roadside checkpoints in his county.
Texas Democratic Congressman Greg Kaiser pushed back on the notion that illegal immigrants are smuggling drugs into the country — nine out of ten fentanyl traffickers are American.
“Drug runners across the border are citizens with passports who can pass through checkpoints,” Kasar said. People smuggling fentanyl across the border are US citizens. People suffering and dying from overdoses in our communities are American citizens — so why on earth are we talking about immigrants today?”
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