UPDATED 2:05 PM PT – Friday, July 16, 2021
The opioid 50 times more potent than heroin has been smuggled into the country at record rates since the beginning of fiscal year 2021. So far this year, more than 5,500 pounds of fentanyl have been caught by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol personnel.
This has been an increase from around 4,700 pounds in all of 2020. A lack of border security and increased demand for the drug have been pointed to as reasons for the surge. However, North Caroline Sherriff Sam Page argued the crisis wasn’t just relegated to the border.
“2000 miles away or less in 2 days traveling time,” he explained. “Persons that are moving drugs or moving persons, smuggling or trafficking, can be in my county.”
There's a surge of drug smuggling and illegal crossings at our southern border right now.
What are Democrats doing?
Calling to defund Border Patrol, ICE, and the Department of Homeland Security.
— Steve Scalise (@SteveScalise) July 10, 2021
Opioid deaths in the U.S. numbered more than 87,000 last year and have already risen 60 percent in fiscal year 2021.
Special Agent Misha Piastro of San Diego DEA expressed, “the devastation that these synthetic opioids are causing on the streets of America is significant.”
On top of it all, Mexican cartels have not been the only foreign entities profiting from the illegal trade. The DEA has reported fentanyl was manufactured in Mexico using chemicals from China.
@DEAATLANTADiv asks, did you know Mexican Cartels have one of the largest impacts on the #fentanyl in the U.S. due to increased capabilities of fentanyl production? #ProjectWaveBreaker is targeting those cartels & their pathways to the U.S. See https://t.co/L3t2RtGUE6 pic.twitter.com/sykA28MfJP
— DEAAtlanta (@DEAATLANTADiv) April 29, 2021
In response, the DEA has ramped up efforts to combat the onslaught arguably caused by weakened border security under the Biden administration.
Special Agent Kyle Williamson of El Paso DEA went on to say, “Project Wave Breaker is an operation, an enforcement operation in DEA, designed to attack the fentanyl manufacturing, importation and distribution problem here in the United States.”
Wave Breaker will rely on analytics to target specific activities of Mexican drug cartels to break up the supply chains, which are coming across the border like a wave.