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Deadly Illicit Fentanyl Threatening American Lives Amid Biden's Failure to Secure US Border

© AP Photo / Louis LanzanoDEA agents
DEA agents - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.04.2022
The US is seeing a spike in overdose deaths caused by illicit fentanyl, a potent opioid. Conservatives blame the southern border crisis for the hike and accuse the Biden administration of reversing Donald Trump's border policies.
California law enforcement agencies seized 92.5 pounds (41.96 kg) of illicit fentanyl at locations in Oakland and Hayward on 23 April, according to the Alameda County Sheriff's Department, as quoted by CBS San Francisco. "That’s 42,000 grammes that were headed for the streets of the Bay Area. This is a glimpse of the fentanyl epidemic", the agency tweeted.
Alameda County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Ray Kelly told the press that sheriff deputies and their partners at the narcotics task force uncovered a major fentanyl manufacturing lab last Friday. While one suspect was arrested by law enforcement agents, a second one remained at large.
Illicit fentanyl is regarded as one of the most dangerous among synthetic opioids, with some forms of it being 100 times stronger than morphine and up to 15 times more potent than heroin. According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), one kilogram of fentanyl has the potential to kill 500,000 people. Thus, 41.96 kg is enough to kill over 20 million.
According to The Epoch Times, the seizure followed the DEA's early April warning about a surge in mass overdose events involving fentanyl. DEA Administrator Anne Milgram raised a red flag over seven mass overdose incidents since January 2022, in which 58 people died, with 29 involving fentanyl.

“Fentanyl is highly addictive, found in all 50 states, and drug traffickers are increasingly mixing it with other types of drugs—in powder and pill form—in an effort to drive up addiction and attract repeat buyers”, Milgram wrote in a 6 April letter to law enforcement agencies.

© AP Photo / Rick BowmerThis file photo shows syringes of the opioid painkiller fentanyl in an inpatient pharmacy.
This file photo shows syringes of the opioid painkiller fentanyl in an inpatient pharmacy. - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.04.2022
This file photo shows syringes of the opioid painkiller fentanyl in an inpatient pharmacy.

New York City

On 23 April, the New York Post drew attention to a hike in opioid overdoses in New York City, citing the Department of Health's (DOH) April report.
According to the numbers, NYC's overdose deaths are up 78% from pre-pandemic levels, claiming 1,233 lives during the first half of 2021, a 28% spike over the same period in 2020. The DOH says that the rise in deaths was largely caused by fentanyl. The DEA registered record inflows of the drug to New York City in 2021, seizing more than a tonne in the city last year, according to the Post.

"Fentanyl, to be clear, is a national problem, increasingly driving US deaths for nearly a decade. In 2020, 29,000 Americans aged 15 to 34 died of drug overdoses. (That’s more than nine times as many as died from COVID in that age group in that period, by the way.) Overall, fentanyl-involved deaths are outpacing those from prescription opioids by 550%", the media outlet pointed out last Saturday.

The Post argues that the emerging crisis is caused by the Biden administration's failure to secure the US southern border.


On 22 April, Texas Governor Greg Abbott's official website announced that the state's Operation Lone Star – a multi-agency effort to stop illegal border-crossings and smuggling of weapons and drugs – had managed to seize 300 million lethal doses of fentanyl throughout the state.
Abbott kicked off Operation Lone Star on 5 March 2021 to tackle the influx of illegals in response to Biden's loosening of border restrictions and abolishing former President Donald Trump's policies with regard to the country's southern frontier. KFOX14 reported at the time that the operation brought together the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas National Guard, which deployed air, ground, Marine, and tactical border security assets to prevent Mexican cartels and other smugglers from moving drugs and people into Texas.
© AP Photo / Dario Lopez-Mills / Border Separated FamiliesBorder Separated Families
Border Separated Families - Sputnik International, 1920, 25.04.2022
Border Separated Families

Border Crisis

The number of illegal entries through the country's southern border remains high. On 10 March 2021, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported that it had encountered 100,441 persons attempting entry along the southwest border in February 2021, which represented a 28% increase over January 2021. A year later, the agency reported about a total of "221,303 encounters along the southwest land border" in March 2022, a 33% increase compared to February 2022.
The CBP's latest report highlights that fentanyl seizures increased by 55% in March 2022 compared to December 2021. Drug traffickers are using the influx in migration to smuggle illicit substances into the US. According to a US Immigration and Customs Enforcement October 2018 report, illicit fentanyl and its analogues are smuggled into the US either through mail carriers, or through transnational criminal organisations (TCOs) in Mexico, Canada, and the Caribbean. TCOs, including the Sinaloa Cartel and Jalisco New Generation Cartel, remain the principal wholesale illicit drug sources in the country.
This photo provided by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration's Phoenix Division shows one of four containers holding some of the 30,000 fentanyl pills the agency seized in one of its bigger busts in Tempe, Ariz., in August 2017. Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid. - Sputnik International, 1920, 01.04.2022
Study Shows Shocking Increase in Percentage of Fentanyl Pills Confiscated Over Last Four Years
Earlier this month, a study published by the Drug and Alcohol Dependence journal indicated that the number of fentanyl pills and powders seized by American law enforcement jumped from 13.8% in 2018 to 29.2% in 2021. The research also revealed that over two million counterfeit pills were seized by authorities in the last three months of 2021 alone. The US has been experiencing nothing short of an opioid epidemic over the past few decades and the Biden administration's mishandling of the border crisis is adding fuel to the fire, according to American conservatives.
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