Border officials report they’ve found 72,000 fentanyl pills and 44 pounds of methamphetamine, 2.45lbs of fentanyl powder, and 2.9lbs of cocaine hidden in a gas tank at a seizure at Port of Nogales, Arizona. Stories of this nature are common, and it’s not uncommon for the vehicles coming across the border to the packed to the brim in an attempt to smuggle people, or, in every small and hidden part of the car to be packed with drugs outside of the sight of anyone searching. Fentanyl is the leading cause of death for Americans ages 18 to 45 according to the CDC, with over 80,000 overdose deaths being attributed to the extremely potent and lethal drug.
Seizures of fentanyl at the border have become a regular occurrence in recent months. In July, seizures jumped 200% amid concerns over overdose deaths.
The synthetic opioid is typically used for treating severe pain and is 50-100 times more potent than morphine. Illicit fentanyl is now primarily made in Mexico from precursors manufactured in China and then trafficked across the southern border.
The Drug Enforcement Administration has previously warned of a “nationwide spike” in mass fentanyl overdoses and has said the drug is killing Americans at an “unprecedented rate.” A 2020 DEA report also notes that most fentanyl and the precursor chemicals used to manufacture the drug originate in China.
While it’s good to know that border officials are seizing large amounts of drugs, one can only assume they’re not fool-proof, and do allow drugs to slip through the cracks. Our southern border is extremely open in comparison to recent years under the Trump Administration. Vice President Kamala Harris is supposed to be the head of overseeing the southern border, however, her job has been more similar to that of a PR agent of – just reverberating ‘the border is safe and secure’ endlessly, while she’s only visited a handful of times over the past two years of being the Vice President.