DHS issued an update today on Operation Blue Lotus as part of the Biden Administration’s significant and historic actions to disrupt the trafficking of synthetic drugs, representing a major contribution to a government-wide effort to save lives and pursue justice and accountability. In its first month, Operation Blue Lotus, a coordinated U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) surge operation, has stopped over 4,000 pounds of fentanyl at ports of entry, where more than 90 percent of fentanyl is trafficked in cars and trucks. In addition to that, DHS also announced that the U.S. Border Patrol’s complementary operation between ports of entry, Operation Four Horsemen, has stopped over 800 pounds in its first month.
First launched on March 13th, Operation Blue Lotus is exemplary of the Biden Administration’s multi-pronged strategy, and includes an increase in targeted inspections conducted by CBP Officers and HSI Agents, canine units, and advanced technology at locations along the border. Intelligence gained through Operation Blue Lotus is enhancing the targeting of drug traffickers and their networks to build criminal cases against transnational criminal organizations. U.S. Border Patrol (USBP) launched a complementary effort on March 6th, Operation Four Horsemen, which has seized another 800 pounds of fentanyl.
“These operations, which have together stopped over 5,000 lbs of fentanyl in their first month, are another example of how the dedicated personnel of DHS are taking on the cartels and protecting our homeland,” said Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro N. Mayorkas. “We are matching the unprecedented challenge of fentanyl with unprecedented solutions and leveraging the full weight of this Department to do so.”
Operation Blue Lotus has also led to 156 arrests and the seizure of over 3,500 pounds of methamphetamines, and nearly 1,000 pounds of cocaine in its first month.
“CBP and our law enforcement partners remain steadfast against the threat of fentanyl and have surged additional personnel, technology, and resources along the southwest border to detect and seize this dangerous drug at and between the ports of entry,” said CBP Acting Commissioner Troy A. Miller. “Drug traffickers are constantly seeking innovative and unique ways to flood American communities with their deadly concoctions. We are fully committed to taking action against those producing this deadly poison and bringing them to justice.”
“HSI continues to relentlessly work alongside partners to dismantle those criminal networks that are intent on destroying our communities through the illegal manufacturing and distribution of fentanyl,” said ICE Acting Deputy Director P.J. Lechleitner. “Through DHS’s Operation Blue Lotus, HSI has surged resources exponentially increasing our ability to identify, arrest, and bring to justice the criminal networks funneling this lethal substance into our nation.”
These operations demonstrate the Administration’s strengthened approach to saving lives by disrupting the trafficking of illicit fentanyl and its precursors into American communities. DHS has also initiated major investigative and enforcement operations targeting the illicit fentanyl supply chain and its chemical precursors, has established taskforce units at CBP’s international mail facilities, and is investing in non-intrusive inspection technology to significantly expand our ability to screen traffic at land border ports of entry.
DHS is bringing unprecedented force to our fight against the cartels who are trafficking in fentanyl. In the last two years, DHS has seized more fentanyl than it did in the previous five years combined. During this same period, DHS arrested more criminals for committing crimes related to fentanyl and precursors chemicals than it did in the previous five years combined.