In July, CPB seized 2,130 pounds of the synthetic opioid. The total is more than three times the 702 pounds that were intercepted in June, and topped the previous monthly record of nearly 1,300 pounds set in April.
It's also nearly equivalent to the total amount of fentanyl confiscated in all of 2019.
Highly LethalFentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid that was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat acute pain. It is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine.
On Aug. 4, CBP said in a statement they seized a shipment of 5 pill bottles from India manifested as medicine, "officers in Louisville seized a shipment ... containing multiple pills of the lethal narcotic fentanyl, enough to kill 50,200 people.
“Even though this shipment may seem like a very small amount, remember two milligrams of this stuff is lethal,” said Thomas Mahn, Louisville's port director.
Preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicates that fentanyl was involved in 77 percent of overdose deaths in the United States in 2021, accounting for about 71,000 fatalities.
Mexican cartels are known to import the precursors for fentanyl from China before pressing it into pills or mixing it into other counterfeit pills made to look like Xanax, Adderall, or oxycodone, and selling them to unaware buyers who then accidentally overdose.
Southern California—the EpicenterSouthern California, with at least six international border crossings, has allegedly become the epicenter of fentanyl smuggling.
The area alone accounted for two-thirds of the drugs seized in July.
More than 1,100 pounds of it were seized from smugglers as they carried it across border crossings, either within automobiles and trucks, or concealed on their bodies.