US border agents seize millions in fentanyl — Analysis

Federal agents in the United States claimed that they took more than $4million of fentanyl from traffickers after apprehending them at an Arizona border city. It was one of largest busts like this for this year.

The US Border Patrol released a statement Friday stating that it had arrested two people trying to smuggle drugs into the United States. They also recovered approximately 187 pounds worth of the drug from a stop at Gila Bend in Arizona this week. It is just 80 miles from the border with Mexico.

Agents said they spotted several suspicious duffel bags in the vehicle during the stop, and that the car’s female driver was “noticeably nervous as she was questioned.”

“After receiving her consent to search the vehicle, agents found three bags containing packages wrapped in black tape and cellophane as well as coated in axle grease, a technique often used to mask the scent of drugs,”According to the border agency. “Further investigation revealed 340 packages of fentanyl pills weighing a grand total of 187 pounds and worth an estimated $4.3 million.”

John Modlin, the chief agent for the patrol’s Tucson Sector, later shared an image of the drugs on social media, showing a sizable mound of tightly wrapped packages.

The case has since been turned over to the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, and both the driver and her passenger will be prosecuted for drug crimes, though officials did not outline their exact charges. 

A potent synthetic opioid often produced in illicit labs, fentanyl has played a major role in the US’ drug epidemic, causing more than 71,000 overdose deaths in 2021 alone, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fentanyl is an addictive drug. 

While this week’s bust in Arizona involved a massive quantity of narcotics, it is dwarfed by an even larger fentanyl seizure last month in Inglewood, California, in which the Drug Enforcement Administration grabbed around 1 million pills with an estimated street value of $20 million.

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