Arizona AG announces fentanyl seizures as border crisis rages on



(The Center Square) – Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes said Thursday that 525,000 illegal fentanyl pills were seized by the government.

“This operation is a significant step forward in our ongoing fight against criminal drug distribution in our state,” Mayes said in a statement. “The collaboration between my office and our local and federal law enforcement partners has been vital to our efforts at keeping this deadly drug off our streets. We will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute these crimes to the fullest extent of the law.”

Her office said that in was done in collaboration with the Tempe Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Phoenix bureau, a federal government agency. In addition to the pills being taken away, $66,000 was seized as well.

Seizures are a common occurrence in Arizona, with another major bust on Tuesday by the Arizona Department of Public Safety. DPS said that they discovered over 200 pounds of fentanyl during a traffic stop around Eloy, which is in Pinal County south of Casa Grande.

The department added that they’ve dealt with three major seizures in recent days, including seizing 148 pounds of fentanyl in southern Arizona in vehicles headed toward Phoenix. High levels of drug trafficking into the U.S. have long been considered a consequence of the ongoing migrant surge at the southern border.

There is an estimated five or more deaths daily in Arizona related to opioid overdoses, which include fentanyl, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services website.

Cracking down on fentanyl continues to be a hot topic for state leaders on both sides of the aisle. Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs is asking for $15 million in her executive budget proposal for the SAFE (Stopping Arizona’s Fentanyl Epidemic) Initiative, which includes funding to law enforcement. On the border crisis at large, state Senate Republicans announced some of their border policy proposals on Wednesday in hopes that the governor will sign them pending passage by the legislature, The Center Square reported.

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