Police in Mexico seized a staggering 100 pounds of the deadly opioid fentanyl in a vehicle bound for the U.S. border Thursday after stopping it for a missing license plate.
Mexican police who stopped the vehicle said the trunk of the car was stuffed with bags and bags of drugs. The massive haul, found just South of the city of Ensenada, Calif., is enough to kill several million people. A recent bust in Ohio of only 4.5 pounds of fentanyl was estimated to be enough to cause the entire population of the state to overdose, reports The Washington Post.
Authorities arrested the driver of the SUV, who was also trafficking 914 pounds of crystal meth, 88 pounds of cocaine and 18.5 pounds of heroin.
Mexican cartels are smuggling large amounts of narcotics into the U.S. to take advantage of the national addiction crisis, particularly opioids like fentanyl, which is roughly 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine.
Drug addiction continues to wreak havoc in states throughout the country, and the problem appears to be getting worse.
Nationally, drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death for Americans under age 50, killing 63,600 people in 2016. The increase is driven primarily by opioids, which claimed 42,249 lives last year, a 28 percent increase over the roughly 33,000 lives lost to opioids in 2015, according to data released Dec. 21 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Opioid overdoses made up a staggering 66 percent of all drug overdose deaths in 2016, surpassing the annual number of lives lost to breast cancer.
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