In One Year, Encounters Triple with Migrants Attempting to Cross Southern Border Illegally

In one year, Customs and Border Protection agents encountered triple the number of people entering the U.S. illegally compared to the previous year. From October 2020 to September 2021, 1,734,686 people were encountered at the U.S. southern border.

From October 2019 to September 2020, that number was 458,088.

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Arizona Border Patrol Seizes 50 Pounds of Fentanyl

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) from the Tucson Sector Wednesday announced that it had seized a massive quantity of the extremely lethal drug fentanyl. 

“U.S. Border Patrol agents working the Interstate 19 Immigration Checkpoint near Amado, Arizona, seized over 50 pounds of suspected fentanyl and arrested the driver of the vehicle Monday morning,” a CBP press release said. 

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Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Meets to Discuss the Danger of Fake Prescription Medication

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) met Monday morning to discuss the dangers of drug addiction and counterfeit medication. Director David Rausch said in the meeting, “let me be clear, if you’re buying pills on the street, in our state, you’re gambling.” Rausch gave a presentation showing examples of drugs like oxycodone, and compared them to the fake pills that people have been dying from. Most fake prescription pills contain fentanyl, a synthetic opioid. In 2017, fentanyl had attributed to 59 percent of drug overdose deaths. In 2019, Tennessee lost over two thousand people to drug overdoses, and of those over a thousand were fentanyl related. 

Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Commissioner Marie Williams said, “Our state doesn’t just have a counterfeit pill problem, or an opioid problem, or a methamphetamine problem, we have an addiction problem. Just like every other state in this country.”

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Snapchat Tries to Stop Users from Buying Fentanyl on Its Platform, but It’s ‘Too Little Too Late’ for Some

Snapchat is putting in place new safety measures to try and stop young users buying and selling fentanyl on its platform, the company announced Thursday.

The company unveiled an in-app education portal called “Heads Up” in a blog post Thursday designed to provide young users with information from substance abuse advocacy groups including Song for Charlie, Shatterproof, and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration on the dangers of fentanyl. Snapchat also said it is planning on adding health information from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention in the coming weeks.

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U.S. Authorities Seize 1.8 Million Illicit Pills Laced with Fentanyl, Point to Social Media for Rising Drug Traffic

U.S. authorities criticized social media for an uptick in drug trafficking following a massive seizure of over a million fentanyl-laced pills and hundreds of drug dealer arrests.

The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced Monday that it, alongside various law enforcement partners, seized over 1.8 million fake pills laced with fentanyl and arrested over 800 alleged drug dealers over the course of a two-month drug bust beginning in August. Authorities have criticized social media companies that have failed to stop the sale of these illicit drugs on their platforms.

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Drug Overdoses on the Rise in Florida

Spilled pill bottle on table top with a spoon underneath

According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), drug overdoses are on the rise in Florida. Specifically, the death toll rose by about 37 percent from 2019 to 2020 in Florida.

One of the most notable trends was the amount of synthetic opioid fentanyl in Florida, and how so many people have become dependent upon drugs to cope with the COVID pandemic and economic hardship.

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More Lethal Fentanyl Found Along the Southern Border this Year Than Last

Federal authorities have seized significantly more fentanyl along the U.S.-Mexican border in Arizona and California since October than they did in the entire 2020 fiscal year.

Since October, authorities have seized 7.000 pounds of the drug, compared to just 4,500 pounds in the entire last fiscal year, according to data from Customs and Boarder Protection. The reasoning, according to authorities, is simply supply and demand.

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Commentary: Fentanyl Is Spreading Like Wildfire

Fentanyl

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized 6,494 pounds of fentanyl in the first four months of 2021. This is much higher than the 4,776 pounds seized in all of 2020. While it is impressive that CBP has removed this much of the deadly drug from the market, the majority of the fentanyl brought into the U.S. is not seized, and increasing amounts of fentanyl are reaching Americans. The drug, a synthetic opioid, was invented in 1960 for medical applications and is 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine. In recent years, Mexico-based criminal organizations have been manufacturing the highly addictive drug, often mixed with other substances, and distributing it throughout the United States.

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Border Officials Seized More Fentanyl in the First Four Months of 2021 Than During the Same Period in 2020

Border officials seized nearly 2,400 more pounds of fentanyl from January to April 2021 than during the same period in 2020, according to Customs and Border Protection.

Officials seized nearly 3,290 pounds of fentanyl in the first four months of 2021 compared to around 920 pounds in the same timeframe of 2020, according to Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Border officials seized a total of 7,300 pounds of fentanyl from January to December 2020.

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2020 Was Record Year for Fatal Drug Overdoses in Virginia

Virginia had another record year for fatal drug overdoses in 2020. In 2019, Virginia had a record 1,627 fatal drug overdoses, but in 2020 that number spiked by 41.2 percent to 2,297, fueled by fentanyl overdoses, according to a fourth-quarter report from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH).

“The pandemic exacerbated drug deaths and last I checked, something like 40-plus states reported big increases in overdose deaths since the pandemic began,” VDH Statewide Forensic Epidemiologist Kathrin Hobron told The Virginia Star.

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Akron Man Wants Fentanyl Declared a Weapon of Mass Destruction

An Akron man whose son died of an overdose in 2015 is on a crusade to take fentanyl, a ultra-lethal drug manufactured mostly in China and by Mexican cartels, off the streets for good.

Motivated by his son’s tragic death, James Rauh founded an organization called Families Against Fentanyl, which is taking a unique approach to fighting the manufacture and import of that drug. 

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Nashville Woman Pleads Guilty to Involvement in International Drug Distribution Conspiracy That Was Led From Prison

A Nashville woman pleaded guilty to her involvement in an international drug distribution conspiracy, orchestrated from prison, that pumped a large volume of drugs into the Nashville area, according to a statement issued last week by federal prosecutors.

The defendant, Jennifer Montejo, 32, was charged in a criminal complaint on December 12, 2019, with possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of heroin and 400 grams or more of fentanyl, according to the statement by Don Cochran, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.

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Martha Boneta Commentary: It Is Time to Declare Fentanyl a Weapon of Mass Destruction

When it comes to Fentanyl, it is hard for us to think beyond the sheer human tragedy. 

It is hard for us to think beyond the 32,000 lost to overdoses from this drug in 2018 – up from 28,000 the year before.  

It is hard for us to think beyond the suffering James Rauh of Cleveland has endured. His son, Thomas, injured himself in a roller-blading accident and was prescribed opioids to deal with the pain. The son became addicted, turned to heroin and died when unbeknownst to him, he injected a dose of pure fentanyl that was provided by the drug dealer.   

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New Court Filings of Autopsy Examiner Say George Floyd Likely Died of Overdose, Not Strangulation

New court filings of the Hennepin County Autopsy Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker show that George Floyd likely died of an overdose rather than strangulation.

On Monday, ex-officer Tou Thao’s counsel requested the complete medical witness opinions from both the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office and the Floyd family’s individual autopsy doctors, Dr. Michael Baden and Dr. Allecia Wilson.

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George Floyd Had ‘Fentanyl Intoxication’ and ‘Recent Methamphetamine Use,’ Autopsy Shows

George Floyd had fentanyl in his system and had recently used methamphetamine before his death, which was ruled a homicide, according to a county medical examiner autopsy released Monday.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s autopsy report said Floyd experienced “fentanyl intoxication” and “recent methamphetamine use” were “significant conditions” leading to his death. The report ultimately deemed his death a “homicide” due to law enforcement restraint and “neck compression” that contributed to a heart attack.

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Ohio’s Franklin County Experiences 11 Overdose Deaths This Past Weekend

Franklin County in Ohio saw another surge in drug-related overdoses last weekend, according to The Columbus Dispatch.

Dr. Anahi Ortiz, the Franklin County coroner, told The Dispatch that 11 people had died.

Since the Wuhan virus came to Ohio, Franklin County has been one of state’s hardest-hit areas in terms of overdoses.

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Ohio Couple Sentenced for Conspiring to Import, Distribute Chinese Fentanyl

An Akron couple was sentenced Thursday for their roles in what prosecutors described as an operation that brought large amounts of fentanyl and carfentanil from China for sale in Northeast Ohio.

Donte Gibson, 41, was sentenced to 25 years in federal prison. His wife Audrey Gibson, 36, was sentenced to 10 years, 10 months in prison. Chief U.S. District Judge Patricia Gaughan sentenced the pair by video. The Akron couple were arrested in February 2018 and pleaded guilty to drug and money laundering conspiracy charges.

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Ohio Doctor Accused of Murdering 25 People Sues His Former Employer For Defamation

  Accused murderer Dr. William Husel, who is alleged to have killed 25 people by fatal drug overdose, has sued his former employer for defamation. However, in a lawsuit filed last week, Husel denies the charge, claiming he followed Mount Carmel West’s end-of-life protocols, and that the hospital breached his…

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SOLVED: Vice President Mike Pence’s Cancelled Air Force Two Trip to New Hampshire Was Reportedly Due to a Guest Under Investigation for Drug Trafficking

by Chris White   The White House abruptly cancelled a trip Vice President Mike Pence was scheduled to take because he likely would’ve come face-to-face with an alleged interstate drug dealer, Politico reported Monday, citing law enforcement officials. One of the people Pence was likely to have shaken hands with…

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CEO Resigns, 23 Fired Amid Ohio Doctor’s Alleged Fentanyl Murders

  Mount Carmel Health System CEO Ed Lamb announced Thursday that he’s terminated the employment of 23 individuals and will resign at the end of the month after a former doctor was charged with 25 counts of murder. “This was a difficult decision, but one that is in the best…

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Blackburn, Other Senators Introduce Bill to Crack Down on Fentanyl Drug Traffickers, Dealers

  U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) is tackling the fentanyl crisis. Last week, Blackburn and Sens. Tom Cotton (R-AR), John Kennedy (R-LA) and Ben Sasse (R-NE) introduced he Ending the Fentanyl Crisis Act of 2019, the Tennessee senator said in a press release. The bill aims to ensure that sentencing…

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’60 Minutes’ Discovers Opioid Silk-Road From China to Akron

  The CBS weekly show 60 Minutes recently discovered a drug route leading into Ohio. The CBS team found that fentanyl plants in Shanghai have been trafficking their product through Akron. Guanghua Zheng, a free citizen of Shanghai, is a wanted man in America. Zheng illegally imported fentanyl and other…

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Ohio Man Gets Five Years for Intent to Distribute Enough Carfentanil to Kill 700 People

Alandre J. Gillbreath of Springfield, Ohio was sentenced to five years in prison Tuesday for possession with intent to distribute enough carfentanil to kill 700 people. According to the United States Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Ohio, Gillbreath was arrested in May 2017 when police officers responded to…

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Ohio Department of Health Confirms Investigation of Doctor Who Prescribed Lethal Opioid Doses to 27 Patients

In most major surgeries, a doctor will prescribe, at most, 20 micrograms of fentanyl, a powerful opioid pain killer. At most, as an “adjunct to general anesthesia,” 20-50 micrograms are used. Doctor William Husel of Columbus was administering, in some cases, 1,000 micrograms. After prescribing these lethal doses to at least…

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China Faces U.S. Pressure to Contain Deadly Fentanyl Exports

by Joyce Huang   After meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G-20 meeting earlier this month, U.S. President Donald Trump praised China for considering imposing the death penalty on illicit producers of fentanyl – an opioid up to 100 times more potent than morphine with a lethal dose…

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No Bigger Fish to Fry? Ohio Investigative Unit Focuses on Small Dollar Misuse of Food Stamps

Steve Gill

On Friday’s Gill Report – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 1510 WLAC weekdays at 7:30 am – Star News National Political Editor Steve Gill talked about the recent liquor license revocation at a small lounge called Sharky’s in Harrison Township Ohio.  He was perplexed about the Ohio Investigative Unit’s focus…

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New Jersey Sues Big Pharma CEO For Illegally Pushing A Deadly Fentanyl Drug

Officials are in New Jersey are expanding the focus of their lawsuit against a top manufacturer of a fentanyl-based medication to include the company’s CEO. New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino announced Friday that the state is amending its current consumer fraud and false claims complaint against Insys Therapeutics, an…

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