One of the latest methods for smuggling the drugs into the country: Crutches. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Nogales Port of Entry made the discovery because the crutches concealing the drugs were excessively heavy.
More than 14,000 pills were found inside with the help of a K-9 and X-ray machines.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich has been vocal about the problem and says it is not a problem that is staying in the state.
Brnovich says he stands behind Gov. Doug Ducey’s efforts to secure the border, but adds that the task should be the job of the federal government.
The drugs — and the smugglers — are turned over to the federal government. The penalties can be severe, but smuggling drugs is lucrative, so traffickers from Arizona to Texas continue to take the risk, using various containers built specifically to hide the drug.
Border authorities have stopped semitrucks with floor compartments filled with fentanyl, found compartments beneath seats in vehicles and searched people smuggling the drugs in packages strapped to their bodies. Some even place condoms filled with the lethal drug inside their bodies.
This is an extremely dangerous practice, according to the DEA, as just two milligrams of the drug can be deadly. There is concern the latest trend is targeting younger users through candy colored fentanyl, some of which has made it all the way to Maine and Virginia, according to police departments there.
The DEA says four out of 10 pills that are laced with enough of the synthetic opioid to kill. The attorney general says the lethal dose is equivalent to a couple grains of salt.