DEA Seizes 300 Kilos of Fentanyl, Mexican Drug Cartels Fuel Record Overdose Deaths |

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Drug overdose deaths have reached an all-time high in the United States with more than 100,000 deaths in one year.

The DEA points to fentanyl as a major factor in the increase in the number of deaths, saying the drug is made in Mexico, made into fake prescription pills by Mexican cartels, and then smuggled across the border.

KTSM 9 News presenter Christina Aguayo was taken inside the DEA drug testing room and shown approximately 11,000 counterfeit prescription pills containing fentanyl, which equates to approximately one kilogram with one market value, according to Acting Special Agent in Charge Greg Millard, of over $ 100,000.

Fake prescription pills containing Fentanyl are designed to look exactly like prescription pills. They are so powerful that a Special Agent must be fully protected before handling them. In the drug testing room, a special agent put on three layers of gloves, an air-purifying respirator and a special suit before handling the drugs inside a special hood.

Special Agent Millard said profit and greed are driving Mexican drug cartels to push fake prescription pills containing fentanyl, saying:

“It’s easy to produce, it’s easy to get the chemicals. Along with other drugs, you need to grow a plant. With heroin you have to grow a plant, marijuana you have to grow a plant, cocaine you have to grow a plant. But fentanyl is produced in the laboratory, it is produced underground. These are just mixed chemicals.

Acting Special Agent in charge Greg Millard

Which makes him extremely dangerous. According to Special Agent Millard, the cartels manufacture fentanyl in powder and tablet form,

“And the pill shape is very scary because it’s designed to look like legitimate pharmaceuticals like Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Valium, and Xanax. So they imitate them, so when people buy the pill on the street, they think they are getting what was maybe a pill bought from a drugstore prescribed by a doctor but sold on the black market. However, they are not. They’re having a pill made with fentanyl somewhere south of the border.

Acting Special Agent in charge Greg Millard

A drug 50 times more powerful than heroin and 100 times more powerful than morphine. In fact, Millard said that a very small amount can be fatal,

“Fentanyl is so potent that just two milligrams could be potentially fatal. Two milligrams is like a few grains of salt. Imagine a few grains of salt at the end of a pencil. It’s two milligrams. 40% of the pills have a potentially fatal dose “

Acting Special Agent in charge Greg Millard

In 2021, DEA El Paso Division seized nearly 300 kilograms of fentanyl – a 600% increase from 2020 – where they seized around 42 kilograms. Millard said the drugs are being shipped nationwide via El Paso, but recently they are seeing more of them staying in the city.

And a new method used by Mexican drug cartels is to recruit young adults to smuggle “people” across the border. Special Agent Millard said the same method was used for drug trafficking in El Paso.

“We are [seeing] young smugglers recruited on social media platforms bringing in, recruited by drug cartels to smuggle drugs. A lot of times they don’t know what’s in the contraband, they’re just paid to bring something to the United States.

But Agent Millard has a warning about accepting cash to smuggle drugs across the border.

“I would tell them to be careful. If they are recruited on social media, they will be paid $ 50 or $ 100 or $ 200 to bring something to the United States. Stay away, it’s not sure. It is probably narcotics and you are risking your freedom, you will be arrested if you get caught with it.

Acting Special Agent in charge Greg Millard

Millard says the DEA is attacking the opioid crisis from all angles, including using a response vehicle to help destroy the drug labs and showing Aguayo one of those response vehicles,

“This is our new underground laboratory response vehicle. Traditionally these were used to respond to the clan labs for methamphetamine where it was produced in Texas, more recently they are used to respond to Fentanyl.

Everything officers need to process a fentanyl lab is inside the truck, it also contains sophisticated equipment to test the deadly drug.

In addition to shutting down the Fentanyl drug labs, the DEA launched Operation Engage – a program that deepens community outreach involving everyone from local law enforcement to schools, faith-based organizations and even law enforcement professionals. health – and they encourage parents to talk to their children about the dangers of drugs.

“We de-stigmatized drug use,” Millard said, “I always said, a child, toddler and adult who might not inject heroin, they would not take cocaine, but they’ll take a pill, and it’s really scary “

Special Agent Millard said other drugs like marijuana, cocaine and even methamphetamine have been linked to fentanyl, so the deadly drug isn’t just found in bogus pills smuggled across the border.
He also said the pills – prescribed by your doctor – are safe. But if it doesn’t come straight from the pharmacy, don’t take it. A pill, he said, can kill.

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