In 2023, the Rocky Mountain DEA sets a new record by seizing an unprecedented amount of fentanyl

The Rocky Mountain Field Division of the DEA made a significant seizure in 2023, confiscating over 567 kilograms of fentanyl. This amount is more than double what was seized in 2022.

The Drug Enforcement Administration reported that the majority of fentanyl, which is equivalent to 2.61 million pills, was confiscated in Colorado, one of the states covered by the division. Additionally, 664,200 pills were seized in Utah, 106,500 pills in Montana, and 23,700 pills in Wyoming.

During a news conference on Wednesday, Acting Special Agent in Charge David Olesky emphasized that the alarming number of lives lost and the record-breaking seizures clearly demonstrate that no community, including Colorado, is safe from the devastating impact of fentanyl.

The DEA has revealed that fentanyl has become the primary cause of death among Americans aged 18 to 45. In the past year, the agency confiscated a staggering 77 million pills and 12,000 pounds of fentanyl powder across the country.

According to Olesky, fentanyl accounted for almost 70% of the 112,323 drug poisonings that resulted in American lives lost last year.

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The DEA identifies the Sinaloa cartel and the Jalisco cartel as the primary sources of the fentanyl that is saturating the nation. With 48 ongoing investigations tied to these cartels, the Rocky Mountain DEA is actively targeting their operations.

According to Olesky, the cartels may not have the intention of deliberately killing their customers, but they show a complete disregard for the potential harm caused in the process.

According to the DEA, social media has made it more affordable and convenient to acquire pills, but it has also made them more lethal. In 2023, the DEA conducted laboratory tests and found that 70% of the tested pills contained a potentially fatal dose of fentanyl. Shockingly, even a minuscule amount of just 2 mg, equivalent to what can fit on the tip of a pencil, can be deadly for someone with no prior exposure to the drug.

Olesky emphasized the importance of recognizing the multiple facets involved in addressing the issue at hand. He stated, “We need to acknowledge the significance of mental health, education, and the commendable efforts made by law enforcement, particularly the DEA, in order to effectively combat this problem.”

Discover the perils of fentanyl by delving into the DEA’s “One Pill Can Kill” campaign.

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