Authorities at an immigration checkpoint in Arizona arrested a woman who allegedly attempted to smuggle several bags of heroin into the U.S.
Agents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection stopped an unnamed 42-year-old woman at the Nogales Station immigration checkpoint Wednesday as she was crossing in a van for a routine secondary immigration inspection. Agents found four packages of heroin hidden in her clothing during a subsequent search of the woman, reports the Associated Press.
Officials, who are not currently releasing the name of the Arizona resident, did not specify how much heroin was confiscated off her at the checkpoint. The woman, who faces charges for drug smuggling, was turned over to investigators at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (RELATED: Historic Narcotics Bust Yields Enough Fentanyl To ‘Kill Everyone On The East Coast’)
Large quantities of narcotics continue to infiltrate the U.S. due to the relentless efforts of traffickers, however, authorities are stepping up efforts to interdict the dangerous substances, particularly opioids.
Opioid seizures by U.S. Customs and Border Protection 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 opioids, are now the leading cause of accidental death for Americans under age 50, killing more than 64,000 people in 2016.