The Division of Homeland Safety seized 900 kilos of fentanyl on the southern border within the first week of its new initiative to crack down on the lethal artificial opioid.
The drug seizure was one of many largest made in a single week just lately by Customs and Border Safety officers and passed off after the launch of Homeland Safety’s Operation Blue Lotus on March 13.
Seven hundred kilos of methamphetamine and over 100 kilos of cocaine have been additionally seized, in response to DHS. The operation deployed further canine models and superior know-how to conduct 18 seizures, 16 federal arrests and two state arrests.
The transfer was a part of “a multi-pronged technique” by the Biden administration “to fight the scourge of fentanyl,” Homeland Safety Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas stated in a press release.
“Prior to now two years, DHS has seized extra fentanyl than the earlier 5 years mixed. However we should do extra,” Mayorkas stated. “Operation Blue Lotus is a DHS-led, coordinated surge effort to curtail the stream of illicit fentanyl smuggled into america from Mexico and convey to justice the harmful prison organizations benefiting from the unlawful manufacturing, distribution, and sale of this harmful substance.”
Critics have pointed to President Biden’s permissive border coverage for permitting fentanyl to stream freely into the US, prompting some Republican lawmakers to name for a navy response towards the harmful drug cartels in Mexico.
“These narco-terrorist teams are extra like ISIS than just like the American mafia,” former Lawyer Normal Invoice Barr stated this month in a Wall Road Journal op-ed. “The actual query is whether or not we’re prepared to go after them as we might a terrorist group.”
Lawmakers together with Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Rep. Chip Roy (R-Texas) have floated payments to that finish, urging Biden to label the cartels as “international terrorist organizations.”
Drug overdoses killed greater than 106,000 People in 2021, the Nationwide Institutes of Well being reported — with nearly two-thirds of the deaths attributable to non-methadone artificial opioids like fentanyl.
Barr famous the fatalities are greater than “the variety of People killed in motion throughout the bloodiest yr of World Warfare II.”
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador stated final week that the overdoses occur as a result of US households don’t hug their children sufficient.
“There’s plenty of disintegration of households, there’s plenty of individualism, there’s a lack of affection, of brotherhood, of hugs and embraces,” he stated.
CBP introduced a record-breaking seizure in late February after officers found greater than $1 million price of the extremely deadly drug that had been hid in a pickup truck’s fuel tank.
“CBP is on the frontline of stopping fentanyl and different unlawful narcotics which can be primarily trafficked by way of Ports of Entry,” Appearing Commissioner Troy Miller stated in a Tuesday assertion. “Our devoted personnel are already seizing report quantities of fentanyl, and we proceed to make the interdiction of cross-border smuggling one among our prime priorities.”
Officers seized 575 kilos of fentanyl on common every week throughout February earlier than the launch of Operation Blue Lotus.
For the reason that begin of the 2023 fiscal yr, CBP has seized round 11,000 kilos of fentanyl — a fifth of which was taken in February alone.
Almost 15,000 kilos of fentanyl have been seized within the earlier fiscal yr, and 11,200 within the yr earlier than that.