Opinion

OPINION: Secure The Border To Solve The Opioid Crisis

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Derek Maltz Former Special Agent in Charge, DOJ

If you look at the latest multi-agency law enforcement operation during October 2018 in Lawrence, Massachusetts, it should be very apparent that our country has been invaded by the violent Mexican Cartels. They are making millions of dollars and taking complete advantage of the addicted population.

The street networks of cartels and illegal immigrants are moving around the region, pushing poison to our citizens, and thriving. They are currently the driving force behind the nation’s unprecedented drug crisis.

Politicians need to step up and secure the border now. We can’t afford to lose Americans at the alarming rate of almost 200 per day to drug overdoses. 

The massive busts in Lawrence depict how bad the situation is around the United States as ICE detained or issued indictments for 50 illegal or criminal aliens who were operating with this organization. Officials in the area have made it clear that the sanctuary policies of Lawrence has provided the illegals with a safe haven to operate and ultimately kill our citizens.

Sadly, many of the public officials have been in a state of denial and have no sense of urgency for this crisis. This warped sense of reality is also the sentiment by other public figures trying to win elections.

The Ohio and New England regions have been especially hard hit by the opioid crisis. If it wasn’t for our dedicated first responders who administer Narcan daily, the death rates would be through the roof.

We have seen successful law enforcement operations all over these regions taking down massive amounts of fentanyl and heroin while arresting numerous criminals. Two milligrams of fentanyl can kill an adult, according to the experts in the DEA. That equates to the fact that over 200,000 people can die from one pound of this poison.

Yes, it’s true our population first started consuming mass amounts of opioids from the medicine cabinet and there has been serious over prescribing for years. But now the addicted have turned to a less expensive alternative on the streets.

Unfortunately, the cartels don’t have any quality control and are mixing the poisonous chemicals with heroin and cocaine and making counterfeit pills with fentanyl. The addicted are unfamiliar with the substances they are taking, and in many cases, it’s too late.

Parents, teachers and educators have not been properly informed, and our nation’s leaders must step up.

I am fortunate to be involved in a nationwide campaign to educate the public in the “Not in Vein” heroin, fentanyl and opioid documentary. The producers of the film were inspired after hearing the tragic loss of 20-year-old Marin Riggs from Ohio.

Like Marin’s mother stated, “She’s now a pissed off mom.” Her words touched the film producers and others like me to step up and help with an aggressive awareness initiative. We feel Heidi Riggs’s pain and want to prevent more tragedy.

It’s obvious to me that many politicians have mislabeled the drug crisis as a prescription drug problem and an over-prescribing issue. There is plenty of blame to go around. Many politicians won’t blame the cartels for the deaths and do so deliberately for political reasons. It’s easier for them if they ignore the real cause.

Let’s be clear: In 2018, illicit drugs distributed by cartels are driving this crisis and the public needs to know the truth. According to research from the American Action Forum, in many parts of the country, prescription drug overdoses are down as illicit cartel drug overdoses are up. 

Thanks to President Trump for addressing the crisis in Massachusetts and New Hampshire for what it is, a cartel invasion to spread their poison and make tons of money.

We need to use the brave personnel of ICE and remove these criminal aliens contributing to the destruction of our society. Now it’s time for Congress to provide real solutions. They need to provide the resources for better border security and must update the antiquated laws that no longer make sense.

Congress must secure the border to stem the tide of illegal drugs and brutal cartel activity.

Derek Maltz is a former Special Agent in Charge of the United States Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration and Special Operations Division.


The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.