Federal immigration authorities say they stopped roughly five pounds of fentanyl pills from entering the United States at a single port of entry in a single day last week.
A news release from Customs and Border Protection says its officers at the San Luis Port of Entry near the southwest corner of Arizona stopped a car driven by a 27-year-old Mexican man on Friday when a CBP drug dog alerted them to something around the vehicle’s transmission. Inside the transmission, the agents found “nearly 4 pounds” of fentanyl pills with an estimated street value of $40,000.
Earlier that same day, the release adds, agents at the same port of entry stopped a teenage male coming through the pedestrian area of the port for questioning. A drug dog alerted them to 17-year-old’s pants, where they found almost a pound of fentanyl pills with an estimated street value of $9,100.
CBP says that both suspects have been turned over to Homeland Security Investigations and that the smuggling vehicle was seized.
Relatively cheap and incredibly potent, fentanyl has been making its way into 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 DEA, “as little as two milligrams is a lethal dosage in most people.”
Elsewhere in Arizona last week, CBP says officers seized “nearly three-quarters of a pound of fentanyl” from a 19-year-old Phoenix man attempting to cross through the pedestrian area at the Lukeville port of entry. Last month at a different Arizona port of entry, CBP announced the seizure of almost two pounds of fentanyl in a Mexican woman’s underwear after being alerted by a drug dog. Earlier this month, the Department of Justice announced the six-year prison sentence of an illegal immigrant from Mexico convicted of trafficking the deadly substance.