Border Patrol agents in California found enough fentanyl hidden in a car to kill ‘more than five million people’ earlier this week, according to a news release.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) says the bust happened near the city of Temecula, California, on Wednesday afternoon. Agents reportedly stopped a car and had a drug dog check it, which prompted further investigation.
Upon searching the vehicle, CBP says, agents “noticed the headrests of the backseats were unusually solid” and then found two metal boxes containing packages of illicit drugs. Nine of the 12 packages contained 22 pounds of fentanyl, the release details, which is “enough doses to kill more than 5 million people.” The other packages contained 2.64 pounds of cocaine. The total estimated street value of the drugs was $236,400, according to CBP.
Relatively cheap and incredibly potent, fentanyl is used as an additive in all kinds of illicit drugs on the black market such as heroin and cocaine, which has made it a key driver of overdose deaths in the ongoing drug crisis. Just a tiny amount of it can be deadly. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), “as little as two milligrams is a lethal dosage in most people.” Cross-border fentanyl smuggling also plays a substantial role in America’s illegal immigration crisis.
“This seizure represents a great victory for San Diego Sector,” Chief Patrol Agent Douglas Harrison said. “We are proud to say that this potentially dangerous combination of drugs will not reach local communities throughout the country. We stand with our law enforcement partners to combat the ongoing opioid crisis.”
CBP says it arrested a 54-year-old U.S. citizen in relation to Wednesday’s bust, that the drugs were turned over to DEA, and that the vehicle was seized by Border Patrol.