TEMECULA, CA - A trove of lethal fentanyl worth millions was seized during a traffic stop conducted by Border Patrol agents on Interstate 15 in the Temecula area last week, authorities announced this week, KTVU reported.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, agents affiliated with the San Diego sector pulled over a 24-year-old woman operating a gray sedan northbound on the interstate.
Upon stopping the vehicle, a Border Patrol canine alerted to the sedan. Upon further inspection, agents found 62 bundles of blue pills secreted inside the door panels and seats of the vehicle. Officers tested the pills, which confirmed the presence of fentanyl, CBP said.
All told, agents seized 81.4 points of fentanyl with an estimated street value of $3,692,000. Border patrol seized the car while the woman and drugs were turned over to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Office Special Investigations Bureau.
Chief Border Patrol Agent Patricia D. McGurk-Daniel praised the Border Patrol agents for their diligence and dedication in keeping the country safe.
“We will continue to serve on the frontlines against fentanyl by disrupting and ultimately dismantling the drug trafficking organizations who profit in this poison,” McGurk-Daniel said.
The fentanyl seizure is part of Operation Apollo. This multi-jurisdictional task force is comprised of federal, state, and local agencies teaming up to fight the scourge of fentanyl in the country caused by the Biden administration’s open border policies.
All told, San Diego Sector CBP agents have seized over 1,284 pounds of fentanyl during FY-2023.
Fentanyl continues to kill Americans at record levels. According to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drug overdose deaths reached another record level this spring, with 2023 tracking to be another record-breaking year as far as drug deaths are concerned.
According to data, 111,000 people died in the 12-month period ending in April, according to new estimates.
CNN reported that overdose deaths spiked 30% between 2019 and 2020, which is partially attributed to the COVID-19 pandemic, and rose another 15% between 2020 and 2021. However, the numbers remain elevated.
The CDC also reported that fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are involved in nearly 70% of the overdose deaths. Much of that is attributed to fentanyl.
Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse at the National Institutes of Health, laid the blame on fentanyl.
“Fentanyl is everywhere,” Volkow said. “It’s not just disguised as heroin, but it’s also actually present in cocaine and methamphetamine.”