US border agents seize millions of fentanyl
The transport amounted to nearly 200 pounds of the powerful synthetic opioid
U.S. federal agents said they got their hands on more than $4 million worth of fentanyl after apprehending traffickers in an Arizona border town, one of the biggest such busts this year.
In a statement on Friday, the U.S. Border Patrol said it arrested two smugglers, both U.S. citizens, and recovered approximately 187 pounds of narcotics after a traffic stop near Gila Bend, Arizona, earlier this week. The city is located less than 80 miles north of the US-Mexico border.
Officers said they spotted several suspicious sports bags in the vehicle during the stop and the driver of the car was “Visibly nervous when questioned.
“After receiving his consent to search the vehicle, officers found three bags containing packages wrapped in black tape and cellophane as well as coated in axle grease, a technique often used to mask the smell of drugs,” the border agency said. « Further investigation revealed 340 packets of fentanyl pills weighing a total of 187 pounds and with an estimated value of $4.3 million. »
John Modlin, the patrol’s Tucson sector lead officer, later shared an image of the drugs on social media, showing a large mound of well-wrapped packages.
Observant Ajo station officers discovered $4.3 million worth of fentanyl pills during a vehicle stop near Gila Bend, AZ. Two US citizen smugglers were handed over to @mcsoaz. #Good work
For more information: https://t.co/7MFCK0XTvj pic.twitter.com/reGCBgaowP
— John R. Modlin (@USBPChiefTCA) August 26, 2022
The case has since been turned over to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, and the driver and her passenger will be charged with drug-related crimes, although officials did not specify their exact charges.
A powerful synthetic opioid often produced in illicit labs, fentanyl has played a major role in the drug epidemic in the United States, causing more than 71,000 overdose deaths in 2021 alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The drug is a
While this week’s bust in Arizona involved a massive amount of narcotics, it’s overshadowed by an even larger seizure of fentanyl last month in Inglewood, Calif., in which the Drug Enforcement Administration seized about 1 million pills with an estimated street value of $20 million.
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