Blue Fentanyl Bust in Green Beans at Otay Mesa Port
On the evening of April 17, U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized more than three million fentanyl pills. The pills were a distinct color, blue. They were hidden in a shipment of green beans inspected at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry facility.
What Is Blue Fentanyl?
Fentanyl is often sold as fake prescription pills known as "M30s" online via apps, social media, and on the street. Drug users typically think the pills are Oxycodone. Usually, these drugs contain fentanyl. However, sometimes they are pure fentanyl, like in this particular case.
These pills are usually round tablets and often light blue. Rainbow colors have also been seized in the past. Blue pills, however, remain the most popular. These blue pills have also been sold as Molly and other club drugs.
Massive Blue Fentanyl Bust Was Hidden In Green Beans
A driver was bringing a tractor-trailer, purportedly a shipment of green beans. The Customs officer did what they called a "non-intrusive inspection," according to the press release. However, something was off, so they brought the drug dog in to sniff.
The dogs were successful, helping the officers stop 776 pounds of fentanyl in California. The narcotics are worth 221 million dollars on the streets.
"This seizure provides insight and displays how our officers work together in collaboration to keep this dangerous drug off the streets," said Rosa Hernandez, Port Director for the Otay Mesa Cargo Facility, said in a press release.
Fentanyl Seizures Are Common at All Ports (Green Beans or Not)
Much of the drugs that enter this country come through ports and borders with Mexico.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) uses various methods and technologies to combat drug smuggling and other criminal activities at the border. For example, they typically inspect vehicles and cargo. Drug sniffing dogs are a standard tool, and other intelligence methods they don't disclose often help with seizures. However, smugglers constantly adapt their strategies and tactics, and drug trafficking remains a significant challenge at many border crossings.
The smuggler will be charged for attempting to smuggle narcotics and is currently in the custody of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Ongoing Dangers of Fake Blue Pills
Fake blue pills are an ongoing danger to people who use drugs. Sold on the street or via apps, these pills are almost always purported to be something other than fentanyl. Yet they are fentanyl, or contain fentanyl, pretty much 100% of the time, according to the DEA. In addition, agencies in the U.S. continue to seize drugs on the border, yet they still sweep the nation and make it to the streets.
Blue fentanyl pills are often sold as Oxycontin, Molly, or other drugs that are nowhere nearly as strong as fentanyl itself. Because of the danger, multiple campaigns in the public health industry are trying to get the word out that "one pill can kill." Pills sold on apps such as WhatsApp, Signal, or Telegram often make it into the hands of drug users who are what doctors term "opioid naïve."
When a non-opioid user takes fentanyl, an opioid that is 50-100 times the strength of morphine, their bodies can't handle it. Drug overdoses slow respiration and make it so the user can't wake up. Narcan, an opioid-overdose reversal drug, can work to save lives if drug users carry them. San Diego now has free dispensers to help people reverse overdoses in areas known for drug activity.
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