The Fentanyl Problem Is Growing More Deadly Amid Migrant Crisis

(AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Over the past few years, fentanyl has become an increasingly dangerous issue for Americans. Now, with the ongoing migrant crisis, it is set to grow even deadlier as Mexican drug cartels are ramping up efforts to smuggle the opioid into the United States where it will be consumed by Americans who don’t realize they are ingesting the poison.

The authorities working along the southern border reported that they have been finding fentanyl in a variety of unexpected areas including bags of Skittles and vape pens. “We’re finding fentanyl in everything,” Riverside County District Attorney Michael Hestrin said during a meeting with Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Ken Calvert (R-CA) earlier this week.

Fentanyl is produced mostly in China and then flown into Mexico. The cartels typically lace the opioid into other drugs like heroin, methamphetamine, and others before smuggling it into the US. Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco told Breitbart News that cartels are even conducting this operation on American soil.

“We’re finding fentanyl laced into all the hard drugs. It’s getting into vaping pens,” Hestrin explained during the meeting. “At the same time, we’re having a counterfeit pill issue. The Mexican drug cartels are producing pills that look exactly like OxyContin. They’re made using fentanyl and the drug dealers are selling them on Snapchat.”

Hestrin gave an example in which a drug dealer pretended to be selling a Miami Marlins jersey on Snapchat, but was, in reality, selling M30 pills made using fentanyl. “A parent would think their child is buying a jersey, but they’re actually being sold OxyContin with fentanyl,” the district attorney said.

Border Patrol Agent Mark Dunbar described how the drug is being trafficked into the country and the impact it is having on border towns.

“Fentanyl can be laced through any narcotic. Some agents have seen where fentanyl pills are hidden in bags of skittles,” Dunbar said. “People who ingest fentanyl pass out and then the kids around them will get into it and overdose and die as well.”

“The first-time user is the one who is overdosing,” he added.

Fentanyl deaths in border towns have been skyrocketing at an alarming clip over the past five years. Officials revealed that overdoses on the drug have increased by 800 percent, according to Breitbart News. Hestrin indicated that while figures for 2021 have not yet been compiled, deaths due to fentanyl are expected to be more than they were in 2020, a record year.

Many of those who succumb to fentanyl don’t even realize they are consuming it because it is laced into other street drugs. Hestrin and other law enforcement authorities have responded by going harder after drug dealers and charging them with manslaughter if one of their customers dies from taking the drugs they sell.

State officials and Gov. Gavin Newsom have done little to assist those fighting fentanyl deaths and the people who cause them. However, federal prosecutors are still targeting those selling the opioid. Breitbart reported:

In February, federal prosecutors in San Diego successfully scored a 25-year prison sentence against 31-year-old Jahvaris Lamoun Springfield for having sold U.S. Army veteran Brendan James Gallagher a fatal dose of fentanyl that resulted in the man’s death.

The sentence is the longest that the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of California has ever recorded for the crime of distributing fentanyl resulting in death.

In 2020, fentanyl caused about 60 percent of all overdose deaths. Last year, America saw over 100,000 overdose deaths.

While federal prosecutors are working hard to punish those responsible for circulating the opioid, real progress cannot be made because of the nation’s porous border. President Joe Biden’s migrant crisis has empowered cartels to redouble their efforts to smuggle more fentanyl into the country and this administration seems uninterested in offering real solutions.

The fact that the White House is lifting Title 42, which allows border authorities to turn away migrants and deport illegals coming from countries dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, there will almost certainly be another surge of migrants at the border in the coming months. This will make it easier for cartels to operate because Customs and Border Protection is already stretched thin. The issue will become even worse after the measure is lifted. This will likely have dire consequences for many more Americans who could fall victim to the drug.


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