Illicit Drug business turns deadly for Americans

Last week, in San Diego, the US government seized its largest fentanyl bust in American history. According to authorities from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), agents nabbed nearly 100 pounds of the synthetic Fentanyl that is used to feed America’s ongoing illicit drug addiction.

“The opioid crisis the country is facing right now makes this indictment all the more important,” DEA San Diego Special Agent in Charge William R. Sherman said.  “44.14 kilograms of fentanyl represents more than 44 million fraudulent pills on the street which could be fatal for users.  These dealers are trafficking in death and DEA will continue to hunt them down.”

The steady increase in drug overdoses has compelled Congress to press for more drug rehabilitation programs across the country. While Congress’ concern is noted, the root cause of the Fentanyl problem—China, seems to be ignored.

The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission released a report assessing how “China’s illicit chemical production and inefficient US and international counternarcotic efforts created the stark increase in fentanyl-related deaths.”

“China is a global source of fentanyl and other illicit substances (like Ephedra) because the country’s vast chemical and pharmaceutical industries are (reportedly) weakly regulated and poorly monitored,” the report says. “Chinese law enforcement officials have struggled to adequately regulate thousands of chemical and pharmaceutical facilities operating legally and illegally in the country, leading to increased production and export of illicit chemicals and drugs.”

According to the DEA indictment, Jonathan Ibarra, Hector Fernando Garcia and Anna Baker were charged with possession of 44.14 kilograms of fentanyl with the intent to distribute after a month’s-long investigation.

According to a search warrant affidavit, “the defendants discussed the transportation of a then-unidentified controlled substance.  On November 30, 2016, Ibarra received instructions to have a female courier, later identified as Baker, transport the narcotics in three separate trips on consecutive days.”

Drug dealers allegedly use pure fentanyl powder to increase the potency of heroin as well as for the manufacture counterfeit opioid painkillers like oxycodone. However, most users do not know that fentanyl can be 50 times stronger than heroin. “Deaths from fentanyl-laced heroin and counterfeit pills are epidemic in the United States.  Just 2 milligrams is enough to kill an adult, and less depending on the tolerance of the user,” the DEA explained.

A long way from the US-Mexican border is the nation’s overdose capital– Ohio. The Drug Enforcement Agency said, “Ohio had 3,861 positive lab tests for fentanyl in 2015, more than any other state. Massachusetts had the second most with 2,556 and Pennsylvania had the third most with 897. Nationwide, US law enforcement agencies seized a record 368 pounds of fentanyl; yet, the drugs continue to pour into America unabated.

America has also seen an increase in “meth” use. “All of a sudden, it’s everywhere again,” Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel told NBC News.

Schimel ordered a study of meth use that saw a 250 percent increase since 2011, something that could surpass heroin. “We are entering another full blown epidemic with meth.”

Researchers of the “meth” study highlighted, “that meth addiction has always been a big problem in America. What’s changed, they said, is a switch to mass production in Mexico, an increase in potency and affordability, and deeper penetration by drug cartels into vulnerable communities.”

According to the US government, “Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid analgesic that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent. It is a schedule II prescription drug, and it is typically used to treat patients with severe pain or to manage pain after surgery. It is also sometimes used to treat patients with chronic pain who are physically tolerant to other opioids. In its prescription form, fentanyl is known by such names as Actiq®, Duragesic®, and Sublimaze®. Street names for fentanyl or for fentanyl-laced heroin include Apache, China Girl, China White, Dance Fever, Friend, Goodfella, Jackpot, Murder 8, TNT, and Tango and Cash.”

Many physicians use Fentanyl lawfully to bring relief for patients with severe or significant injuries. Doctors commonly use an injection, transdermal patch, or sometimes lozenges. Nevertheless, cartel syndicates have seized on the opportunity to hook more Americans on drugs. The fentanyl and fentanyl analogs associated with the increased overdoses is most likely produced in surreptitious laboratories outside America.

A majority of the labs are in Mexico where the murder rate ranks America’s neighbor to the south as the second deadliest nation in the world behind Syria. The Mexican government released its latest monthly murder figures. In May 2017 there were 2,186 murders. This alarming number surpasses Mexico’s former high water mark in May 2011 when 2,131 people were murdered. So far in the first half of this year, 9,916 murders were committed.

The alarming rate of murders represents a 30 percent increase from 2016. Mexican authorities believe “the increase in heroin trafficking and turf battles over heroin production areas and smuggling corridors have contributed to the increase in homicides.”

Oftentimes DC politicos search for a solution by ensuring the problem fits a narrative so their donors can make money and garner more influence.

Those in law enforcement, like Border Patrol, have a different take on the current “war on drugs” phenomena.

“One has to wonder, why the broad governmental solutions to the opioid epidemic are focused on the pharmaceutical companies, pharmacists and doctors and never even mention the transnational criminal element bringing killer heroin and fentanyl to the illegal market in the United States through Sanctuary Cities and Cartel Hub Cities,” Zack Taylor a retired Arizona Border agent and Chairman of NAFBPO.org.

“Could it be that the trial lawyers association figured out they can’t litigate the transnational criminals? So, they are left with shaping and pursuing the case in the court of public opinion first before actually taking the case to court against the drug companies, pharmacists and doctors?  Think about that.”

Taylor logically concludes,  “The only thing certain, is that heroin and fentanyl are not available at Walgreens, CVS or Rite-Aid.”

For more drug cartel-related stories check out my archives:

http://kimberlydvorak.blogspot.com/2011/06/afghan-heroin-and-mexican-cartels-are.html

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