Customs and Border Protection officers at the border checkpoint in Nogales, Ariz. made the biggest fentanyl bust in U.S. history.
A Border Patrol statement on Thursday said the bust involved “nearly 254 pounds of fentanyl with a value of approximately $3.5 million and almost 395 pounds of methamphetamine valued at $1.1 million.”
The amount seized is enough to kill more than 100 million people, the Washington Post reported.
Officials said that the drugs were confiscated from a concealed section in the floor of a tractor-trailer, which was loaded with cucumbers and being driven by an unidentified 26-year-old Mexican male. The driver was arrested and charged with drug possession and intent to distribute.
RECORD FENTANYL SEIZURE – #CBP officers in AZ seized 254lbs of fentanyl and 395lbs of meth concealed in a tractor-trailer arriving from Mexico last week. It was the largest fentanyl seizure in CBP history. LEARN MORE: https://t.co/2unUTIKVbh pic.twitter.com/BZuRzgDVxG
— CBP (@CBP) January 31, 2019
The bust dwarfed the previous record in 2017 of 118 pounds in Nebraska.
“Their attention to small details that is necessary to make these types of seizures is incredible,” Michael Humphries, Nogales Area Port Director said of CBP agents.
Fentanyl is “up to 100 times stronger than morphine,” NBC said, citing the DEA.
“One kilogram of fentanyl contains 1 million fatal doses,” Humphries said, according to the Washington Examiner.
Fentanyl, a deadly synthetic opioid, was responsible for more than 28,400 overdose deaths in 2017, NBC News reported, citing Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data.
“Many users believe that they are purchasing heroin and actually don’t know that they are purchasing fentanyl — which often results in overdose deaths,” the FDA said.
Feds make largest fentanyl bust in US history, discovering 254 pounds of the drug hidden in a floor compartment of a truck loaded with cucumbers.
The tractor-trailer was stopped Saturday trying to enter the US through the border checkpoint in Arizona. https://t.co/HIsgzosBaE
— NBC News (@NBCNews) January 31, 2019
The first half of 2018 saw a “750 percent increase in fentanyl busts at the U.S. Mexico border in comparison to that of 2017,” the Washington Examiner noted.
The Trump administration has said called for increased security on the southern border, citing massive drug smuggling activities from Mexico. However, the deadliest fentanyl reportedly comes from China directly through the mail.
President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in Argentina last December, and fentanyl was one of the topics of their discussions, CNN reported.
China’s Foreign Ministry said China has “decided to schedule the entire category of fentanyl-type substances as controlled substances and start the process of revising relevant laws and regulations,” CNN said.
The White House released a statement shortly after that said China had agreed to impose the maximum legal penalties against those who sell fentanyl to the U.S.