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California CBP agents in two weeks seize enough drugs to kill 54 million people

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(The Center Square) – U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers are continuing to seize large quantities of narcotics and illicit drugs hidden inside of shipments being brought through ports of entry from Mexico into the United States.

In a two-week period, CBP agents at one port of entry in California alone seized enough illicit drugs to kill an estimated 54 million people.

In the first two weeks of April, San Diego Field Office officers seized 378 pounds of cocaine, 5 pounds of heroin, 825 pounds of methamphetamine, and 203 pounds of fentanyl in 52 separate drug smuggling attempts, according to a CBP announcement. Total street value of the seizures is an estimated $5.3 million.

According to AddictionResources.net, a lethal dose of methamphetamine is an estimated 200 milligrams, a lethal dose of cocaine is over 30 milligrams. The lethality of heroin ranges from 30 milligrams to 500 milligrams. A lethal dose of fentanyl is considered two milligrams, the weight of a mosquito.

Based on these estimates, San Diego CBP officers seized 46 million lethal doses of fentanyl, 5.7 million lethal doses of cocaine, 1.87 million lethal doses of meth and between 5,700 and 75,600 lethal doses of heroin. They prevented enough lethal doses from reaching the streets that could have wiped out the populations of California, Oregon and Washington whose combined populations total less than the lethal doses seized.

“Smugglers are continuously devising intricate plans to avoid detection, yet our CBP officers have a remarkable knack for adjusting, predicting, and ultimately exposing even the most sophisticated strategies,” Sidney Aki, CBP Director of Field Operation for San Diego, said. “I commend our officers for upholding a strong enforcement stance and effectively disrupting the smuggling of harmful narcotics.”

All suspects involved were arrested and turned over to Homeland Security Investigations for further investigation. CBP also seized the narcotics and any associated vehicles used to smuggle them.

After these record drug busts, CBP officers working at the Otay Mesa Cargo Facility in the San Diego Sector’s Office of Field Operations seized in one single stop another 782 pounds of methamphetamine. This shipment contained enough lethal doses to kill more than 1.7 million people.

On April 18, they stopped a 46-year-old man driving a commercial tractor-trailer with a shipment manifested for charcoal attempting to enter the U.S. from Mexico. The driver, who possessed a valid border crossing card, was referred for further examination. In a secondary inspection, a non-intrusive scanning technology was used to scan the tractor trailer and irregularities were observed. Then a narcotics detection canine took over and found the drugs.

CBP officers then extracted 119 packages hidden inside the charcoal shipment, which was tested and identified as methamphetamine.

Cartel smugglers have used a range of methods to smuggle in drugs, including hiding packages inside crates of fruit and vegetables, in children’s toys, inside vehicle panels and under truck floorboards, in hamburgers and vaginal cavities, The Center Square has reported.

The California busts continue as Tucson CBP agents alone seized enough fentanyl to kill billions of people, The Center Square reported.

Both California and Arizona CBP and Border Patrol agents apprehended a record number of illegal border crossers in fiscal 2023. There were more than 500,000 illegal border crossers reported in California and more than 775,000 in Arizona, including those who evaded capture, The Center Square exclusively reported.

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