The box arriving to Los Angeles International Airport from Asia was labeled “keyboards.” When U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers opened it as part of routine inspections, they found 175 pounds of chemicals used to produce fentanyl — the drug responsible for thousands of U.S. deaths each year. The parcel’s destination — a warehouse in Laredo, Texas — was the next step in getting the chemicals from China to Mexico, where drug cartels manufacture millions of pills to be smuggled into American communities.
Thanks to our targeting, analytical capabilities and partnerships, Customs and Border Protection disrupted this smuggling network. Transnational criminal organizations are exploiting the vast volumes of cargo moving throughout the global supply chain, challenging law enforcement and burdening our health care and social services across the country, all at the cost of American lives.
Customs and Border Protection first encountered small quantities of fentanyl in early 2016. During fiscal year 2023, we seized over 27,000 pounds of fentanyl, primarily at ports of entry. The fentanyl production model has drastically changed, and the fight against fentanyl extends far beyond finished products.
Read the rest of the story from the San Diego Tribune here.