Federal drug agents seized nearly half-a-million dollars worth of cartel fentanyl from three teens attempting to smuggle the narcotics over the U.S.-Mexico border over Easter weekend.
Officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection made the first arrest March 30 after confronting a 17-year-old male from Mexico at the San Ysidro Pedestrian East border crossing who had a suspicious lump on his back. While searching the teen, agents discovered four pounds of fentanyl strapped to his back worth roughly $141,000, reports NBC DFW.
The following day, March 31, CPD officers stopped 15-year-old male Mexican national with a similar lump on his back. They seized nearly five pounds of fentanyl strapped to his back, which has a street value of $143,000. Only 1o minutes later, agents stopped another 17-year-old Mexican teen who was also smuggling nearly five pounds of fentanyl.
“These cases all involve juveniles allegedly attempting to smuggle a dangerous and lethal narcotic such as fentanyl,” said Pete Flores, director of field operations for CBP, according to NBC DFW. “Fentanyl is known to be 50-to-100 times more deadly than heroin. The dangers associated with the unfamiliarity of handling fentanyl can be deadly.”
The three teens were taken by officials with the Department of Homeland Security for processing.
Large quantities of narcotics continue to infiltrate the U.S. due to the relentless efforts of drug traffickers taking advantage of America’s deteriorating opioid epidemic.
Fentanyl overtook heroin as the U.S.’s deadliest substance in 2016, claiming 19,413 lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death for Americans under age 50, killing more than 64,000 people in 2016.
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