Thousands of suspected drugs are seized at the Los Angeles airport
Fetanyl overdose in New York City: a recent epidemic warning against fentanyl in the United States and the Nassau county district attorney’s office
A woman was arrested last week and charged with concealing over 15000 rainbow-colored Fentanyl pills in a Lego box. That seizure at the time was also deemed the largest of fentanyl in New York City’s history.
Two people have been arrested and charged with multiple drug and firearm charges in connection to the seizure on October 7 at a Bronx apartment building, prosecutors said in a news release.
In 2021, a record number of Americans – 107,622 – died from a drug poisoning or overdose. More than a third of the deaths can be blamed on synthetic drugs like fentanyl, according to the agency.
Pharmaceutical fentanyl is a synthetic opioid intended to help patients manage severe pain. It is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, and typically prescribed in the form of skin patches or lozenges. But most recent cases of fentanyl-related harm, overdose, and death in the United States are linked to illegally made fentanyl, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
A multi-colored poison designed to appeal to younger users is what the Nassau county district attorney said is the newest threat they face against the opiate epidemic.
Drugs aren’t Just So: The Drug Overdoses in Los Angeles, California, Comes From a Low Lossy High School
Drug overdose deaths have fallen over the last few months, but the numbers are still high. There were 108,000 drug overdose deaths in the 12 months ended May 2022, which is down from the record high of over 11,000 deaths reported in the 12-month period that ended March 2022, according to a new report by the CDC.
But there was no candy inside the boxes marked SweeTarts, Skittles, and Whoppers, the sheriff’s department said. They had a lot of the dangerous pills, according to authorities.
But with drug use among teens at a historic low, the soaring overdose deaths are likely not the result of more adolescents using drugs, but of the increasing risks the drugs themselves, one of the study’s authors said.
The pills’ colorful appearance is a “deliberate effort by drug traffickers to drive addiction amongst kids and young adults,” DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said in the alert.
One of the overdoses that was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department was at a high school in Hollywood. Investigators said they believe the students bought what they thought were Percocet pills.
After the overdoses, the Los Angeles Unified School District announced its campuses will be equipped with doses of naloxone, a drug used to temporarily reverse the effects of opioid drug overdoses, including from fentanyl.
The sheriff’s department said in a statement that someone tried to go through the security screening with some snacks and bags of candy.
About 12,000 pills were seized by sheriff’s detectives and U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agents assigned to a drug task force at the airport, authorities said.
The Mexican Government Is Too Weak to Stop Fentanyl from Extending to the Americas, Reply to Menendez
The Sheriff’s Department said that with Halloween around the corner, parents need to make sure that they check their children’s Halloween candy and not allow them to eat anything until it has been inspected.
President Biden said this weekend that he wants to launch a “major surge to stop fentanyl production and sale” that’s driving 70,000 fatal overdoses in the U.S. every year.
“You cannot tell us this border is secure when now there’s enough fentanyl in this country to kill every single American more than 20 times over,” the California Republican said. “This has all got to change. We will make that happen and that’s our commitment.
But reporting by NPR found a broad consensus among drug policy experts that strategies now being put forward are unrealistic and won’t keep fentanyl off American streets.
“There’s absolutely no way to stop that,” said Representative David Trone who co-chairs a bipartisan commission on the issue.
“If both countries continue to hew to the old paradigm, we will not be able to move the needle.”
“We work with our Mexican friends with kid gloves on this issue, and it’s fundamentally wrong,” Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, said at a hearing on fentanyl last week. “I don’t know how many more lives have to be lost for Mexico to get engaged.”
One flaw in the U.S. strategy, experts say, is that the Mexican government is simply too weak to take on the cartels no matter how much diplomatic pressure Washington applies.
Only a few of Mexico’s law enforcement agencies are willing to work with the powerful drug gangs, according to the former ambassador to the US.
Felbab-Brown states that Mexico’s corrupt judicial and law enforcement institutions make it nearly impossible for the Mexican government to help the U.S. in the drug war.
When these drugs are crossing the border, they are almost always passed through official checkpoints hidden in cars or trucks by American citizens.
The Mexican government has been identified as corrupt by the U.S. in recent years. The man who was the head of Mexico’s equivalent to the FBI is on trial in New York City, after his arrest in Texas in 2019.
At last week’s Senate hearing, the DEA’s Milgram said there’s so little cooperation that her agents can’t take down known fentanyl labs or even get good intel from Mexican cops. “We are not getting information on fentanyl seizures; we are not getting information on seizures of precursor chemicals,” she acknowledged.
China supplies the chemicals used in the creation of the synthetic opiate. But as disputes over Taiwan and other issues have escalated, the Chinese government has suspended most drug-fighting collaborations with Washington.
“Rather than demonstrate global leadership by engaging in efforts to rein in illicit precursor production and trafficking … [Beijing] is instead choosing to not engage,” Dr. Rahul Gupta, who heads the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, testified during last week’s Senate hearing.
The Mexican War is a War: Drug Labs Are Terrorists and It’s Time for them to Be Reconsidered
Republican governors, lawmakers and the state attorneys general have called on the US to designate the Jalco and Subsidiary Cartels as terrorist organizations.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order in September that classified drug traffickers as terrorists. “Fentanyl is a clandestine killer, and Texans are falling victim to the Mexican cartels that are producing it,” he said. “Cartels are terrorists and it’s time to treat them that way.”
Former President Donald Trump considered a terrorist classification for the cartels and reportedly entertained the idea of missile strikes against drug labs inside Mexico.
The Biden administration has resisted that kind of escalation, and Rep. Trone agrees that it would be a grave mistake. Major raids in Mexico are possible with our military. [but] it’s not our country,” Trone said. “It’s their country. They did not want to go after the drug traffickers.
“That’s our only chance right now,” he said. “Without the Mexican government’s help, without the Chinese government’s help, we can’t win [against the smugglers]. So we have to go on the demand side, work on all the things with education, work on treatment, work on prevention.”
DEA Chief Josie Montenegro: “We will not stop” taking down the “Sequila” drug lords of Mexico
“The sample you see here today is staggering. There are over 4.5 million fentanyl pills, over 140 pounds of fentanyl powder, over 135 kilos of cocaine, over 3,000 pounds of methamphetamine, 35 kilos of heroin, 49 firearms and over $2 million in cash,” Interim Tempe Police Chief Josie Montenegro told reporters.
Montenegro said the substances recovered “would be poisoning members of our community, including our youth and vulnerable population,” had the seizures not been made.
According to authorities, “numerous” people were taken into custody in the bust. Authorities do not intend on releasing the names of those involved at this time because it is still being investigated, according to Montenegro.
She spoke at the news conference and said that the drugs in this room are from one evil drug gang called the “Sequila” group. We have a plan to defeat the drug lords of Mexico. We will not stop.”
Oz also praised the efforts of DEA agents and other officers over the last three years. She said that the removal of these drugs was due to the hard work and determination of the people.