Fentanyl Seizures At San Diego Border Are Higher Than Ever
Almost 3,000 pounds of fentanyl in San Diego County between March and May, a 300% increase from the same time last year. Authorities describe the uptick in drug seizures due to a joint effort between law enforcement agents working in San Diego’s port. Customs and Border Protection agents have been working with Homeland Security to hunt down drug traffickers and stop them in their tracks.
San Diego Port Drug Seizures
A two-month-long enforcement effort netted a huge number of drugs. The busts, which took place over two months, netted 4,721 pounds of fentanyl and 1,700 pounds of fentanyl precursors. These drugs were headed to the streets to be pressed into pills. Instead, more than 200 arrests of alleged smugglers took place, and the government seized these drugs.
San Diego is a central hub for drug trafficking, leading to many people to addiction within the city and county. Addiction has been a significant issue in San Diego, as it has been in many other parts of the United States. The town has a complex history of addiction spanning several decades.
History of Addiction in San Diego
Drugs have always been an issue in San Diego. In the 1960s, the city grappled with heroin addiction. During the 1990s, the town had a surge of people who struggled with crack cocaine addiction and the violence associated with that. In the 2000s, however, the city succumbed to the addiction crisis caused by opioids.
Like many others, the city is still grappling with an opioid crisis. The rise of potent synthetic opioids, such as fentanyl, has resulted in a surge in overdose deaths. The accessibility of these powerful substances often sold illicitly, has exacerbated the addiction problem, and strained public health resources.
Substance use among the homeless population has become a pressing issue in San Diego. Homelessness and addiction are interconnected problems. Many individuals often turn to drugs or alcohol as a coping mechanism. San Diego has implemented various programs and initiatives to address homelessness and substance abuse simultaneously, focusing on harm reduction, treatment, and housing solutions.
Recent Seizures Reflect Concerted Effort to Fight Fentanyl in San Diego and Beyond
“We are an epicenter for fentanyl trafficking into the United States, and we know the immense responsibility that we bear to address this crisis,” U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said about the recent Blue Lotus Operation. “We are answering that call to action with hard work, a purpose, and a plan. Every milligram of fentanyl that we seize, and every smuggler, trafficker, and dealer we bring to justice, means less fatal doses on the streets of San Diego and beyond.”
During the operation, Homeland Security deployed eighty agents to work on drug trafficking in San Diego. In San Diego County, the two-month surge has resulted in a 300 percent increase in fentanyl seizures. There was also a 30 percent increase in defendants prosecuted for fentanyl-related crimes in the Southern District of California compared to last year.
The Blue Lotus Operation also seized fentanyl, which also tested positive for xylazine, creating a dangerous drug called “tranq dope” that leaves people physically addicted and causes gaping sores when they use it. The White House recently designated the combination of xylazine and fentanyl as an emerging threat to the United States on its growing role in overdose deaths. Xylazine is still a relatively new drug, but when a person overdoses, they may not wake up. Narcan has limited value in overdose reversal when a person has taken xylazine. It can help reverse the fentanyl overdose, but xylazine is a sedative, and there is currently no antidote to the drug.
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CategoriesSan Diego Fentanyl