DEA seizes 44 million fentanyl pills in one year of tracking cartels
The Drug Enforcement Administration published the results of a yearlong operation Friday, revealing a massive fentanyl trafficking scheme.
“Operation Last Mile” ended May 1 and resulted in the seizure of 44 million fentanyl pills and an additional 6,500 pounds of fentanyl powder, 8,497 firearms, and more than $100 million. The operation led to over 3,000 arrests. Around 193 million deadly doses of fentanyl were avoided, according to a press release from the agency. Over 90,000 pounds of methamphetamine was also seized. The Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels were at the center of the 1,436 investigations conducted over the last year.
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“The Sinaloa and Jalisco Cartels use multi-city distribution networks, violent local street gangs, and individual dealers across the United States to flood American communities with fentanyl and methamphetamine, drive addiction, fuel violence, and kill Americans,” DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said.
“What is also alarming — American social media platforms are the means by which they do so. The Cartels use social media and encrypted platforms to run their operations and reach out to victims, and when their product kills Americans, they simply move on to try to victimize the millions of other Americans who are social media users,” she added.
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Via these investigations, the agency found 589 social media links that resulted in drug trafficking arrests and over 500 encrypted links on messaging apps such as What’s App, Signal, Telegram, Wire, and Wickr.
In 2013, there were only 2 pounds of fentanyl seized the entire year. Over 10,000 pounds were seized last year alone along the ports of entry, per the Washington Examiner’s Anna Giaritelli.