RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif. – Law enforcement along the United States-Mexico border and in border communities across California find the deadliest drug, fentanyl, in just about everything from bags of Skittles to vape pens.
As President Joe Biden’s administration plans to fight to keep mask mandates on Americans traveling on domestic commercial flights and buses, law enforcement officials say they are witnessing first-hand a epidemic much larger than the Chinese coronavirus.
“We find fentanyl in everything,” Riverside County District Attorney Michael Hestrin said during a meeting with Reps. Darrell Issa (R-CA) and Ken Calvert (R-CA) this week.
Fentanyl, two milligrams of which can kill a person, is primarily manufactured in China before being flown to Mexico where Mexican drug cartels then smuggle the drugs into American communities through the country’s porous southern border. .
Many factories where fentanyl is mixed with drugs are right on the border. Riverside County Sheriff Chad Bianco revealed that in some cases Mexican drug cartels are now manufacturing their deadly product in the United States.
“We find fentanyl in all hard drugs. It goes into vape pens,” Hestrin said. “At the same time, we have a problem with counterfeit pills. Mexican drug cartels produce pills that look exactly like OxyContin. They are made from fentanyl and drug dealers are selling them on Snapchat.
In a recent case, Hestrin said a drug dealer on Snapchat claiming to be selling Miami Marlins jerseys with the number “30” on the back was actually selling M30 fentanyl pills.
“A parent would think their child is buying a jersey, but they’re actually being sold OxyContin with fentanyl,” Hestrin said.
Border Patrol Agent Mark Dunbar said fentanyl was trafficked across borders in a number of ways — in trucks, on a border commuter’s person, and across mountains and hills. Specifically, drugs are flowing into Southern California’s largest city, San Diego.
“Fentanyl can be added to any narcotic. Some officers have seen where fentanyl pills are hidden in bowling bags,” Dunbar said. surround them get in there, overdose and also die.”
“The first user is the one who overdoses,” he said.
This was the case of Alexandra Capelouto, 20, who died in 2019 after being sold what she believed to be an antidepressant and a sleeping pill but which was a counterfeit pill containing fentanyl. A federal case against the Capelouto dealer is expected this year.
Fentanyl is so addictive that Bianco said regular users are ready to die.
“We recently had a teenage girl who passed away, we brought her back to life with Narcan,” Bianco said. “When we interviewed her, she said she wouldn’t tell us who she got the fentanyl from because she was planning on buying more.”
As Breitbart News reported, the influx of fentanyl into American communities has increased in recent years. In fiscal year 2019, approximately 2,800 pounds of fentanyl were seized at the border. The following year, this figure peaked at 4,800 pounds of drugs seized. In fiscal 2021, which accounts for most of Biden’s first year in office, fentanyl seizures soared to around 11,200 pounds.
Already in fiscal year 2022, which began October 1, 2021, approximately 5,300 pounds of fentanyl were seized at the border. The numbers indicate that fentanyl seizures under Biden last year alone have quadrupled since fiscal year 2019, when former President Donald Trump was in office.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter here.