I found over a million dollars in fentanyl hidden in packets of flour and coffee

More than $1 million worth of fentanyl was recently found hidden in a number of different food products, including flour sacks and coffee cans.

According to a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) press release, the incident occurred on July 3, at the Otay Mesa port of entry along the US-Mexico border in California. At approximately 10:50 p.m. local time on July 3, Customs and Border Protection officers stationed at the port of entry encountered two men attempting to enter the United States.

The incident comes as officials across the United States continue to warn of the dangers of fentanyl and the increased possibility of overdoses.

CBP said the two men, 43 and 50, were driving a 2005 GMC Yukon and showed officers a passport and “California ID”, as they attempted to enter the United States.

According to CBP, a “rapid” check of the men’s car was conducted and led officers to discover several “packages wrapped in plastic hidden inside food products.”

Customs and Border Protection officers recently intercepted over $1 million worth of fentanyl that was found hidden in several different food packages. Above, a confiscated packet of fentanyl is seen at the San Ysidro Port of Entry on October 2, 2019 in San Ysidro, California.
Sandy Huffker/AFP/Getty Images

After discovering the packages, CBP officers conducted a further search of the vehicle and found “46 packages containing fentanyl hidden inside bags of flour, cans of ground coffee, cans of cream and cans of powdered milk,” the press release said.

CBP said the 46 packets contained 59.08 pounds of fentanyl pills and 42.46 pounds of fentanyl powder. Officials said the illegal drugs had a combined market value of more than $1.2 million.

Fentanyl powder and pills were seized by Customs and Border Protection officials and both men in the vehicle at the time of the accident were being held by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations. According to the press release, the two men were later transferred to the San Diego Correctional Center.

After the confiscation, “We’re seeing a rise in attempts to smuggle fentanyl,” San Diego CBP Deputy Director of Field Operations Ann Marićic said.

“Our officers are working vigilantly to prevent the entry of this dangerous drug. Our field office is also working hard to mitigate the risks involved in seizing this deadly drug,” Maricic added.

Over the past several months, Customs and Border Protection officials and law enforcement agencies across the country have continued to intercept fentanyl and warn of the dangers associated with the drug.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) states that “fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 50-100 times more potent than morphine.” “Fentanyl is added to heroin to increase its potency, or to disguise it as highly potent heroin. … Secretly produced fentanyl is manufactured primarily in Mexico.”

Earlier this month, Colorado law enforcement officials stopped a driver who was found to be carrying 114 pounds of pure fentanyl powder.

On Thursday, the DEA announced that nearly one million counterfeit fentanyl pills had been discovered in a California home, “the largest seizure of fentanyl pills by the DEA in California.”

In April, the Drug Enforcement Administration warned officials across the country of an increase in “mass overdose events associated with fentanyl.”

“Already this year, several mass overdose events have resulted in dozens of overdoses and deaths. Drug dealers drive addiction, and increase their profits, by mixing fentanyl with other illegal drugs. Unfortunately, many overdose victims have no idea they are taking the drug. Fentanyl, until it’s too late,” DEA Director Ann Milgram said in a statement in April.

NEWSWEEK Contact CBP for further comments.

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