WFB: Fentanyl seizures in 2021 have nearly doubled 2020 numbers, according to records quietly released by Customs and Border Protection.
The “Drug Seizure Statistics” tool run by the agency disclosed on Monday that agents already seized 9,337 pounds of fentanyl by the end of July, a 94 percent increase from the 4,791 pounds seized in the entirety of 2020. In 2019, the agency seized just 2,804 pounds. CBP did not publicly announce the updated statistics.
According to CBP’s data, the vast majority of fentanyl seizures—1,110—have taken place at the southwest border, highlighting how the migrant crisis creates opportunities for cartels and other criminal organizations as law enforcement finds its resources strained. The influx of fentanyl also comes at a time when overdoses from the drug are set to break all-time records this year.
In 2020, more than 93,000 Americans died from drug overdoses—a 29 percent increase from the previous year and the biggest one-year jump since 2016. President Joe Biden declared the week of Aug. 29 as “Overdose Awareness Week,” pledging a “strong response … to reduce the supply of illicit drugs.” Since 1991, 841,000 Americans have died from a drug overdose, with 70 percent of those deaths caused by opioids.
Experts say that just two milligrams of fentanyl can cause a lethal overdose to people with no tolerance for the drug, meaning the amount of the drug seized by CBP through July could potentially kill two billion people. A senior CBP official told the Washington Free Beacon that an increase in drugs across the southern border comes as no surprise, citing intelligence that concluded cartel operations increase during times of migrant surges. READ MORE