Border bust yields hundreds of thousands of fentanyl pills

Border Report

Rainbow fentanyl pills come in bright colors and are meant to look like candy, DEA officials said. (DEA/KLAS)

NOGALES, Ariz. (NewsNation) — Border Patrol agents seized hundreds of thousands of fentanyl pills at the Nogales port of entry in southeastern Arizona over the weekend and on Monday, according to officials.

Customs and Border Patrol officers on at the Nogales port of entry discovered about 36,800 fentanyl pills Monday, along with 4.85 pounds of fentanyl powder and 5.15 pounds of cocaine in the gas tank of a vehicle, the department said.

Of the approximately 400,000 pills recovered over the weekend, 30,000 were rainbow-colored — a characteristic drug enforcement authorities believe could make the drugs more enticing to young people.

Authorities found drugs stashed in the back walls of a truck cab, and in the side walls of another car. In total, border officials discovered five loads of drugs, including 152 pounds of meth.

The latest seizure comes just days after a K9 unit uncovered 276,000 fentanyl pills in the spare tire of a vehicle attempting to cross into Arizona.

Since August, border patrol officers have seized over 5 million fentanyl pills at just the Nogales crossing alone.

The highly lethal drug continues to pour over the border and wreak havoc on communities across the country. Fentanyl is similar to morphine but about 100 times more potent. Depending on the person’s body size, as little as 2 mg could be lethal.

There were more than 107,000 fatal drug overdoses in the U.S. in 2021, according to estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) — an increase of nearly 15% from the previous year. Synthetic opioids — primarily fentanyl — accounted for more than three-quarters of those deaths.

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