Two men who were arrested with enough fentanyl to kill the entire population of New York City and New Jersey.That means the 100 pounds of fentanyl (45.5 kilograms) is enough to kill millions of Americans.
Mexico’s National Security Commission announced the seizure of 45.5 kilograms of fentanyl that were found as part of a synthetic drug shipment in the Mexican beach resort town of Ensenada, Baja California. The seizure also included more than 914 pounds of crystal meth, 87 pounds of cocaine and 18 pounds of heroin.
Police arrested a man who was driving an SUV stuffed with the drugs near Ensenada. The drugs were so bulky they were stuffed into a pile of sacks that filled the rear of the vehicle.Fentanyl is approximately 50 times stronger than heroin and is driving a spike in fatal overdoses. Police seized enough to yield more than 18 million doses.
“A seizure of this magnitude, which had enough lethal doses to wipe out the entire population of New Jersey twice over, in all likelihood prevented someone from ever taking their first dose, saving them from a life of misery and addiction,” Colonel Patrick Callahan, acting superintendent of the New Jersey State Police, said.
The man was initially stopped because he lacked a front license plate. Federal police regularly conduct security and surveillance tasks along the highway that connects Ensenada with the town of Lazaro Cardenas. Ensenada is a coastal city in Mexico, the third largest in Baja California and located about 77 miles south of San Diego. Federal police closely monitor the highways in Baja, because the network of roads in the area are some of the top preferred methods of hauling drugs into the United States via drug cartels.
In November, Mexican authorities also seized 31lbs (14kgs) of fentanyl. It had been hidden in a car on a highway between the Gulf of California and San Luis Rio Colorado – home to a border crossing with Arizona.
Earlier this month, Mexico was assigned the Level 2 rating, as U.S. citizens and U.S. government employees are urged to “exercise increased caution” and “be aware of heightened risks to safety and security.” Increased violence in the region has been fueled by U.S. demand for opioids coupled with a power struggle between Mexican drug cartels. In the first 11 months of 2017, there were 22,409 deaths across Mexico–making it one of deadliest years ever.