Authorities Seize $20 Million In Fentanyl Disguised As Prescription Drugs From Notorious Cartel

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Authorities Seize $20 Million In Fentanyl Disguised As Prescription Drugs From Notorious Cartel

Jennie Taer on July 15, 2022

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) seized around $20 million worth of pills containing fentanyl on July 5 that are believed to be connected to Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel, according to a DEA press release.

The seizure, made by the DEA’s Los Angeles Field Division High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Group 48, snagged 1 million pills containing fentanyl, according to the press release. It was the DEA’s largest bust of fentanyl pills ever in California.

“These fake pills are designed to look like real prescription pills right down to the size, shape, color and stamping,” the DEA said in its press release. “These fake pills typically replicate real prescription opioid medications.”

Ahead of the seizure, DEA agents found drug couriers and stash house managers who transported drugs to other dealers in the area, according to the press release.

“The deceptive marketing coupled with the ease of accessibility makes these small and seemingly innocuous pills a significant threat to the health and safety of all our communities. A staggering number of teens and young adults are unaware that they are ingesting fentanyl in these fake pills and are being poisoned,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Bill Bodner said in a statement Thursday.

Los Angeles is a hub for illegal drugs trafficked across the U.S.-Mexico border because of its many international airports, freeways and bus and train lines, according to the DEA. The Los Angeles DEA office saw a 64% increase in fentanyl pills seized in the first four months of 2022, compared to the previous year.

The DEA says that 40% of pills containing fentanyl have a lethal dose, which is about 2 milligrams. Fentanyl is largely to blame for the nearly 108,000 drug overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2021.

The DEA declined to comment further to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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