The Maricopa County Grand Jury indicted two women Monday for possessing over 850,000 counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl, enough to cause potentially millions of overdoses.
“Two out of five counterfeit pills that come across our border are laced with lethal doses of fentanyl. These drugs are being marketed to our youth in the most proliferous ways and are being produced in candy-like colors. We must hold those who bring these lethal pills into our community accountable,” said County Attorney Rachel Mitchell.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents are seizing record amounts of fentanyl and meth in Arizona and Texas brought in by Mexican cartel operatives and foreign nationals trying to enter the U.S. illegally.
In just five separate inspections ahead of Labor Day weekend, for example, officers seized 625,000 pills in Nogales, Arizona, which borders Sonora, Mexico, Michael Humphries, CBP Director of the Nogales Port of Entry, said.
The Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a new, two-count indictment against a Mexican man for smuggling methamphetamine into the United States from Mexico.
The individual was charged one count of Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine and one count of Importation of Methamphetamine into the United States from Mexico.
Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Marine Operations interdicted 62 tons (124,000 pounds) of illicit drugs in the first three months of this year, CBP reports, working with international, federal, state and local partners.
“Collaboration keeps us all safer,” CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus said of their efforts. “CBP AMO works with U.S. and international partners to stem the flow of illicit narcotics. Through the end of March, AMO has contributed to the seizure of over 124,000 lbs of narcotics by partner agencies.”
In one year, Customs and Border Protection agents encountered triple the number of people entering the U.S. illegally compared to the previous year. From October 2020 to September 2021, 1,734,686 people were encountered at the U.S. southern border.
From October 2019 to September 2020, that number was 458,088.
U.S. methamphetamine-related deaths in adults between the ages of 18 to 64 nearly tripled from 2015 to 2019, according to a National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA).
The study found that the number of psychostimulant-related overdoses increased from 5,526 to 15,489, a roughly 180% jump, between 2015 and 2019. The number of people who said they used methamphetamine increased 43% over the same years.