More than 300,000 fentanyl pills seized in federal bust connected to 3 major drug trafficking groups, including Mexican cartels
At least 1 million opioid pills from the U.S. government’s largest fentanyl seizure since 1994 were seized in a drug bust last week, according to Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) sources.
According to DEA press releases, more than 3.2 tons—enough fentanyl to kill 100 people — was seized during the massive drug bust conducted in Mexico by the Drug Enforcement Administration and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The seizure was the largest fentanyl seizure in US history.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) said the seizure occurred in Mexico and that the DEA’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) is assisting ICE in the investigation.
The seizures came just days after the U.S. Justice Department announced the indictment of five people on December 5, 2018 on charges of conspiracy to traffic methamphetamine, the country’s second-largest drug kingpin. The five are charged for allegedly facilitating the movement of 500 pounds of methamphetamine.
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, was used by Mexican cartels as a high grade synthetic heroin substitute. Fentanyl was responsible for more than 70 overdose deaths in the past four years.
The seizure comes as thousands of drug dealers who were facing federal and state charges of trafficking heroin and fentanyl for sale in Mexico were released Thursday in a plea-bargain agreement. The Justice Department said the 5,000 defendants represent a drop in the heroin trafficking ranks and a shift that comes after the closure of federal criminal cases with high levels of heroin and fentanyl by the Department of Justice.
Federal and state prosecutors are still trying to determine how the defendants were able to get their drugs into Mexico when fentanyl is illegal in the U.S.
The DEA seized approximately 3,300 pills during the enforcement of a federal grand jury indictment on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2018, against more than 3,100 individuals, who were allegedly involved in the sale and distribution of fentanyl, also known as “pure fentanyl” and “feinix,” according to the DEA press releases.
The first fentanyl seizure of the agency’s history occurred