Federal immigration officers seized “almost 13 pounds of fentanyl” at a port of entry in Arizona last week, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP).
A CBP news release published Thursday explains that officers at the Nogales Port of Entry stopped a vehicle being driven by a 30-year-old Tuscon woman and referred it for secondary inspection as she tried to take the sedan across the border into the U.S. interior. A drug dog pointed officers to check under the seats of the car, where they found “nearly 50 packages of drugs.”
Five of those packages, CBP said, contained almost 13 pounds of fentanyl with an estimated street value of $137,000.
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 DEA, “as little as two milligrams is a lethal dosage in most people.” Assuming a lethal dose of two milligrams, 13 pounds of fentanyl would be enough to kill 2,948,350 people.
The release says that officers seized over five pounds of heroin worth more than $61,000 and almost 41 pounds of methamphetamine at the same stop. It adds that officers at Nogales seized an estimated overall total of $1.9 million in illicit drugs that week, including 123 pounds of meth in a different car.
Elsewhere in Arizona earlier this month, CBP says it seized almost four lbs of fentanyl from a car stopped at the San Luis Port of Entry and that officers seized “nearly three-quarters of a pound of fentanyl” from a 19-year-old Phoenix man attempting to cross 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.
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