Robstown, TX like many other cities in Texas has been overwhelmed with people trying to get over the border, and with Title 42 coming to an end, things are about to get worse. This doesn’t stop them from doing their job, though. Working with local law enforcement, they have now set the bar for drug busts incredibly high.
On December 2nd, Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez issued a tweet to support and announce the actions of the officers. “A total of 25 pounds (three gallons) of fentanyl valued at $1.8M was located in a compartment within the gas tank. This lethal amount is enough to kill a population of 5.665 million people which is 2 1/2 times the size of Houston, Texas!” With a street value of $1.8 million, this bust will sting the cartel for some time.
Found in a stash spot in a modified gas tank, the liquid is smuggled over the border, then transformed into a powder, then packed into pills, and marked for sale. The ease with which the product is now transported is astonishing, and these drug dealers are getting incredibly inventive in how they are putting things out. It has not only made transportation and smuggling easier, but it has also boosted profits significantly.
FY 22 came to an end on September 30th, and the USBP released its figures for searches and confiscations. Officially, they confiscated over 14,000 pounds of fentanyl at the border in various forms. This represents a 200% rise from the 4,800 pounds recovered in 2020.
Currently, fentanyl is the deadliest drug on the market here in the US. This synthetic opioid is 50 times more potent than heroin, and 100 times stronger than morphine. With people being killed by amounts smaller than the tip of a pencil, it is incredibly easy to overdose, and dealers are using this in various forms with heroin and other drugs to make up for an inferior product, and to help boost sales.
Per a recent DEA report, both the Sinaloa and Jalisco Cartels in Mexico have been making the product using chemicals sourced from China, and then smuggling the vast majority of the fentanyl in the US across the border. This has resulted in Texas Governor Greg Abbott listing both cartels as terrorist organizations. Under his directive, Operation Lone Star resulted in getting 353 million lethal doses of fentanyl from these cartels off the streets. With cooperation between the TX Department of Public Safety Troopers and TX National Guardsmen, this put a significant dent in their operations.
Per the Centers for Disease Control, 107,000 people died of drug poisoning in 2021. Over half of those deaths came via fentanyl. Unfortunately, there is no data for arrests related to these deaths available. What is known though, is that these deaths have been impacting more and more small communities. The OD’s are no longer staying in the inner city or the desolate remote areas either. Rather they are impacting the suburbs, the middle class, and the lower class equally. This is a cheap and easily found substance.
The other drugs associated with it are right in most medicine cabinets, and the American people have little they can effectively do to stop this drug so far. For every overdose, there is a sad story of how it started, and what the family missed before their overdose. Then come the stories of what they tried and how it seemed to work, but ultimately didn’t.
With Title 42 coming to an end, there are thousands of illegals lined up at the borders. The cartels are aware, and many have been supplying them with food and water. Simply to ensure that when they come by to ask a favor before the title lifts, many will say yes. It is here where the US will almost certainly see the floodgates running wide open.