30,000 Fake Fentanyl Pills Are Just Part of the Largest Fentanyl Seizure in Mexico

Photo courtesy of the Mexican Secretariat of National Defense (SEDENA)

According to the L.A. Times, the Mexican Army’s Second Military Zone seized 140 pounds of fentanyl and almost 30,000 counterfeit pills containing fentanyl during a search of a tractor-trailer truck near Tijuana. It is believed that the drugs were most likely going to cross the border into the U.S. The search happened at a checkpoint in San Luis Rio Colorado in Mexico’s Sonora state on August 19, 2017. This fentanyl seizure is the largest in Mexico’s history.

Deputy U.S. Attorney Mark Conover said, “All indicators are that this load of fentanyl was destined for the city streets of the United States.” Conover stated that Tijuana is the main route through which Mexican drug traffickers smuggle fentanyl into the U.S. Amy Roderick, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s (DEA) spokeswoman in San Diego, explained how fentanyl is manufactured illicitly in Mexico from precursors obtained in China and then smuggled into the U.S.

According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, a kilo of fentanyl has a street value of $20 million, which would mean that the 140 pounds of powdered fentanyl by itself would have a street value of over $1.2 billion. To help put this seizure in perspective, CBS News reported that Defense Department said that its total seizures of fentanyl for the previous four and one-half years had amounted to 106 pounds of powdered fentanyl and about 36,000 fentanyl pills.