The United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced the record-breaking seizure of one million fake pills laced with fentanyl in Inglewood, California, on Thursday.
DEA agents executed a federal search warrant on July 5, which resulted in the seizure of one million fentanyl pills. The fentanyl-laced pills were linked to Mexico’s Sinaloa cartel. Agents executed the search warrant after investigating the drug trafficking organization since May.
The recent bust is the largest amount of fentanyl pills DEA agents have seized in California thus far. The fake fentanyl pills were reportedly worth $15 to $20 million.
The fentanyl-laced pills would come into the country through the southern border and stay in southern California until “house managers” could distribute the pills to drug dealers in other areas.
Mexican cartels “are mass-producing illicit fentanyl and fake pills pressed with fentanyl in filthy, clandestine, unregulated labs,” according to the DEA. As a result, more than 107,000 Americans died due to drug overdoses last year, according to CDC data.
DEA offices in the greater Los Angeles area seized more than three million fentanyl pills last year. From January through April of this year, they have seized roughly 1.5 million fentanyl pills, which is a 64 percent increase over the same period in 2021.
DEA Special Agent in Charge Bill Bodner said:
This massive seizure disrupted the flow of dangerous amounts of fentanyl into our streets and probably saved many lives. The deceptive marketing coupled with the ease of accessibility makes these small and seemingly innocuous pills a significant threat to the health and safety of all our communities.
Bodner also said a “staggering number of teens and young adults are unaware that they are ingesting fentanyl in these fake pills and are being poisoned.”
For example, 22-year-old Jordan Erickson of Palmdale, California, passed away after a member of Lock It Out Barbell gym provided him with a fentanyl-laced pill, claiming it was a pain pill to help treat an injury. Authorities have yet to arrest anyone in connection with the fentanyl-laced pills Erickson received.
In Los Angeles County’s neighboring Riverside County, District Attorney Michael Hestrin said fentanyl-related deaths are up more than 800 percent in the past five years.
The increased fentanyl coming into the country is primarily due to President Joe Biden’s lax immigration policy. Under Biden’s presidency, four times as much fentanyl is flowing across the southern border than under former President Donald Trump’s administration.
As Breitbart News reported:
In Fiscal Year 2019, about 2,800 pounds of fentanyl was seized at the border. The following year, that figure capped out at 4,800 pounds of fentanyl seized. By Fiscal Year 2021, which represents most of Biden’s first year in office, fentanyl seizures skyrocketed to about 11,200 pounds.
In addition to fake fentanyl pills, drug dealers are lacing fentanyl in everyday items like Skittles and vape pens.
Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Ken Calvert (R-CA) recently launched a congressional caucus dedicated to the fentanyl crisis. “We must take a war-like footing against those killing Americans,” Calvert said.
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