Authorities recently seized more than $1 million in heroin and cocaine found smuggled inside a tractor trailer transporting vehicles across the U.S.-Mexico border.
Border Patrol agents with Customs and Border Protection stopped the tractor trailer Thursday at an immigration checkpoint in New Mexico on Highway 70. Agents conducting an inspection of the vehicles in the truck became suspicious after noticing a beat up black Honda that was in poor condition compared to the other cars, reports The Associated Press.
A subsequent search with a K-9 unit yielded more than $1 million in heroin wrapped in a bundle, though authorities did not specify the total weight of the haul. Agents also found several kilograms of cocaine. (RELATED: $200 Million Of Cartel Cocaine Bound For US Seized By Coast Guard)
Officials said the driver of the tractor trailer will not face prosecution.
Large quantities of narcotics continue to infiltrate the U.S. due to the relentless efforts of traffickers. However, the Department of Justice under Attorney General Jeff Sessions is gaining ground against drug movers taking advantage of America’s opioid scourge.
Opioid seizures by Border Patrol agents nearly doubled from 579 pounds in 2013 to 1,135 pounds in 2017, a recent report from Democratic Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill shows.
Heroin continues to be the most common opioid coming across the border, with seizures increasing by 73 percent in 2017 to 662 pounds. Seizures of fentanyl, a synthetic painkiller roughly 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine, rose by 72 percent in 2017.
Drug overdoses, fueled by substances like heroin and fentanyl, are the leading cause of accidental death for Americans under age 50, killing more than 64,000 people in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Opioid overdose made up a staggering 66 percent of all drug overdose deaths in 2016, surpassing the annual number of lives lost to breast cancer. Deaths from synthetic opioids like fentanyl experienced a particularly dramatic increase, more than doubling from 9,580 lives in 2015 to 19,413 lives in 2016.
The epidemic is contributing to declining life expectancy in the U.S., officials say. Life expectancy dropped for the second consecutive year in 2016 for the first time since an outbreak of influenza in 1962 and 1963.
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