DEA agents executed a federal search warrant on July 5, resulting in the seizure of one million fentanyl pills. The fentanyl-laced pills were linked to Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel. The search warrant was executed after investigating the drug trafficking organization since May.
The fake fentanyl pills were reportedly worth $15 to $20 million, and the bust is the largest amount of fentanyl pills DEA agents have seized in California thus far.
The pills would come into the country through the southern border and stay in the area until “house managers” could distribute the pills to drug dealers in other places.
Mexican cartels “are mass-producing illicit fentanyl and fake pills pressed with fentanyl in filthy, clandestine, unregulated labs,” according to the DEA. More than 107,000 Americans died due to drug overdoses last year, according to CDC data as a result of this.
DEA offices in the Los Angeles area seized over three million fentanyl pills last year. From January to the end of April of this year, they seized about 1.5 million fentanyl pills, a 64 percent increase over the same period in 2021.
DEA Special Agent in Charge Bill Bodner said:
This massive seizure disrupted the flow of dangerous amounts of fentanyl into our streets and probably saved many lives. The deceptive marketing coupled with the ease of accessibility makes these small and seemingly innocuous pills a significant threat to the health and safety of all our communities.
Bodner also said a “staggering number of teens and young adults are unaware that they are ingesting fentanyl in these fake pills and are being poisoned.”
For example, 22-year-old Jordan Erickson of Palmdale, California, passed away after a Lock It Out Barbell gym member gave him a fentanyl-laced pill, claiming it was a pain pill to help treat an injury. Authorities have not yet arrested anyone in connection with the fentanyl-laced pills Erickson was given.
In nearby Riverside County, District Attorney Michael Hestrin said fentanyl-related deaths in the past five years are up more than 800 percent.
The increase of fentanyl coming into the country is mostly due to President Joe Biden’s lax immigration policy. Under his presidency, four times more fentanyl is coming across the southern border than under former President Donald Trump’s administration.
As Breitbart News reported:
In Fiscal Year 2019, about 2,800 pounds of fentanyl was seized at the border. The following year, that figure capped out at 4,800 pounds of fentanyl seized. By Fiscal Year 2021, which represents most of Biden’s first year in office, fentanyl seizures skyrocketed to about 11,200 pounds.
In addition to fake fentanyl pills, drug dealers are putting fentanyl in commonly used items such as Skittles and vape pens.
Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Ken Calvert (R-CA) have recently launched a congressional caucus dedicated to the fentanyl crisis. “We must take a war-like footing against those killing Americans,” Calvert said.