Over 124 Pounds of Cocaine and Fentanyl Seized in El Paso in 1 Week

Drugs pouring over the border present a geopolitical concern with China being the main producer of precursor chemicals that are needed to make fentanyl.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials in the El Paso region seized more than 124 pounds of fentanyl and cocaine last week in four separate incidents, amid criticism of lax border policies.

On April 30, officers working at the Bridge of the Americas seized cocaine totaling 42.5 pounds, according to a May 3 press release from the CBP.  The drugs were found to be concealed inside a Hyundai Elantra vehicle allegedly driven by a 48-year-old American citizen. “The seizure was made when CBP officers monitoring the Low Energy Portal inspection system spotted anomalies in the appearance of the vehicle and advised primary CBP officers,” the release noted.

“A canine sweep of the car was positive and a Z-Portal (X-ray) scan of the car also revealed anomalies. CBP officers removed 18 cocaine-filled bundles from the rocker panels of the car.”

On May 1, CBP officers at the El Paso Ysleta Port of Entry captured 11.2 pounds of fentanyl that were concealed in a Seat Ibiza vehicle. The drugs were allegedly being transported by a 26-year-old Mexican national. CBP seized the fentanyl during an enforcement operation.

The vehicle in question was selected for a secondary exam, following which bundles of fentanyl were discovered in the central console area. In total, 15 packages were removed from the compartment, according to CBP.

Last week, two more cocaine seizures were made by El Paso CBP officers totaling 70.8 pounds. The arrested individuals were handed over to federal authorities.

“The drugs seized by our CBP workforce will not cause harm in the communities we share,” Hector A. Mancha, CBP El Paso’s director of field operations, said. “We are hard at work every day utilizing multiple tools to identify and stop those who attempt to circumvent our inspection process.”

The CBP’s drug seizures come as former President Donald Trump blamed the Biden administration’s open border policies for fueling fatal drug overdoses in the United States.

“This is country-changing, it’s country-threatening, and it’s country-wrecking,” he said during an event last month. “They have wrecked our country. But I stand before you today to declare that Joe Biden’s border bloodbath … it’s going to end on the day that I take office.”

On his campaign website, President Trump said he marshaled the full power of government during his administration to prevent the inflow of drugs into the country, driving down drug overdose deaths for the first time in three decades.

The former president “will impose a total naval embargo on cartels, order the Department of Defense to inflict maximum damage on cartel leadership and operations, designate cartels as Foreign Terrorist Organizations, and choke off their access to the global financial system,” the Trump campaign said.

“President Trump will get the full cooperation of neighboring governments to dismantle the cartels, or else expose every bribe and kickback that allows these criminal networks to preserve their brutal reign. He will ask Congress to ensure that drug smugglers and traffickers can receive the Death Penalty.”

The Biden administration said it was taking steps to counter the drug issue. In February, two senior administration officials said the United States and Mexico will boost data sharing to curb the inflow of synthetic drugs into America.

The agreements are part of a wide effort “to facilitate action against criminal organizations that traffic people, guns, and illicit drugs, including fentanyl into our communities.”

In a factsheet released last November, the White House said, ”The U.S. government, alongside our partners, will continue our efforts to prevent the production and trafficking of illicit synthetic drugs through multiple efforts, including the Global Coalition to Address Synthetic Drug Threats, which has brought together over 100 countries to collectively address the scourge of fentanyl.”The fentanyl crisis facing the United States is problematic since it is not solely a drug issue but a geopolitical concern as well. Much of the fentanyl entering the United States comes from China. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) attributes 97 percent of illicit fentanyl coming into the United States to entities operating in China.

In April, the House Select Committee on the Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party published a report detailing how China is fueling the fentanyl crisis in the United States.

China “directly subsidizes the manufacturing and export of illicit fentanyl materials and other synthetic narcotics through tax rebates,” it said. Beijing even gave “monetary grants and awards to companies openly trafficking” such drugs.

“There are even examples of some of these companies enjoying site visits from provincial PRC (People’s Republic of China) government officials who complimented them for their impact on the provincial economy.”

A review of seven Chinese e-commerce sites found more than 31,000 instances of Chinese firms selling illicit chemicals. China censors content about domestic drug sales “but leaves export-focused narcotics content untouched.”

“The fentanyl crisis has helped CCP-tied Chinese organized criminal groups become the world’s premier money launderers, enriched the PRC’s chemical industry, and had a devastating impact on Americans.”

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), synthetic opioids like fentanyl are the primary driver of overdose deaths in the United States.

Most of the illicit fentanyl in the United States is manufactured in Mexico from precursors bought from China, highlighting the importance of having full control over the border.

In an interview with The Epoch Times last year, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said that Mexican cartels “have 100 percent operational control over our southern border.”

This month, Senator Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) wrote a letter to President Biden asking him to use his executive authority to shut down the southern border to deal with the issue of illegal immigrants and drugs.

“To fight the drug smugglers and the individuals deliberately avoiding Border Patrol detection, you should prohibit Border Patrol agents from performing non-mission humanitarian duties so they can do their jobs,” said the senator.


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