Authorities in Mexico seized a record 140 pounds-worth of powdered fentanyl and nearly 30,000 pills from a truck just yards away from crossing the United States border, local media reported.
The shipment was confiscated at a Mexican Army checkpoint near San Luis Rio Colorado on Aug. 19 and was announced earlier this week, El Financiero reported.
The pure fentanyl alone boasts a street value of $ 1.2 million, according to Drug Enforcement Agency calculations cited by the local newspaper. What’s more, soldiers found upwards of 29,000 tablets also containing the dangerous opioid.
The Defense Department, to put things in perspective, said in the last 4 and a half years, they’ve seized a total of 106 pounds of fentanyl and about 36,000 pills.
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“All I can say is that this is not a surprise, Tijuana is the main corridor for Mexican drug traffickers to smuggle fentanyl into the United States,” U.S. Deputy attorney in San Diego Mark Conover told the Los Angeles Times. “All the indicators are that this load of fentanyl was destined for the city streets of the United States.”
The illegal cargo was reportedly hidden inside a tractor-trailer carrying groceries from Mexico City to Tijuana.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fentanyl can be 50 more times more potent than heroin. Drug dealers in recent years have added the powerful painkiller into their rotation of contraband as it’s siginifcantly cheaper to produce than its alternatives.
The DEA estimates producing $ 2,000 worth of the drug could yield up to $ 20 million in profits.
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A driver and another man — who have not yet been identified — were taken into custody.
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