Enough fentanyl “to kill every American five times over” has been seized at U.S. borders over the past three months, a lawmaker has claimed.
During a Congressional hearing on border security Tuesday, Tennessee Rep. Tim Burchett cited Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) figures that show 9,400 pounds of the dangerous drug were stopped from entering the country since October 2022.
“That’s enough fentanyl to kill every American five times over,” the Republican was quoted as saying by the New York Post.
Burchett noted that of this figure, 7,200 pounds were seized at the southern border.
According to the CBP, 14,700 pounds of fentanyl were seized at the borders between October 2021 and September 2022, while 9,351 pounds of the drug were seized between October and December of 2022.
The revelation came as members of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability questioned two Border Patrol chiefs about border security, including the recent rise in border drug seizures.
Burchett’s calculation was based on data from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and CBP.
The U.S. population was 332 million in 2021.
The DEA reported that as little as 2 milligrams of fentanyl can be a potentially lethal dose.
“Fentanyl is being mixed in with other illicit drugs to increase the potency of the drug, sold as powders and nasal sprays, and increasingly pressed into pills made to look like legitimate prescription opioids. Because there is no official oversight or quality control, these counterfeit pills often contain lethal doses of fentanyl, with none of the promised drug,” the agency said.
“Drug trafficking organizations typically distribute fentanyl by the kilogram,” the DEA said. “One kilogram of fentanyl has the potential to kill 500,000 people.”
Fentanyl is 50 times more powerful than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the drug is a major contributor to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the U.S.
“Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are the most common drugs involved in overdose deaths,” the CDC said. “Even in small doses, it can be deadly. Over 150 people die every day from overdoses related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl.”
Just last week, CBP officers seized fentanyl and cocaine with an estimated street value of over $450,000 in the Ysleta Port of Entry in El Paso, Texas, according to a Fox News report. The figures translate to 12.95 pounds of fentanyl and 44.12 pounds of cocaine.
The post Enough Fentanyl To ‘Kill Every American Five Times Over’ Seized At US Border appeared first on International Business Times.