PHOENIX — U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials say they have made their biggest fentanyl bust ever, capturing nearly 254 pounds (114 kilograms) of the deadly synthetic opioid in Arizona.
The Nogales CBP Port Director Michael Humphries said Thursday that the drug was seized Saturday from a tractor-trailer carrying produce from Mexico after it was stopped for inspection at the border crossing.
Agents also seized an additional 2.2 pounds (1 kilogram) of fentanyl pills and a large cache of methamphetamine.
The Mexican man driving the truck was arrested.
Authorities say illicit fentanyl in recent years has become the biggest source of fatal overdoses in the United States.
Mexican traffickers are increasingly smuggling the drug into the United States, mostly hidden in northbound passenger vehicles crossing at ports of entry in the Nogales and San Diego areas.
Law enforcement says the illicit version of the painkiller is now seen mostly as a white powder that can mixed with heroin for an extra kick and as blue pills that are counterfeits of prescription drugs like oxycodone.
Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton tweeted “this was not just a drug bust – it was a dirty bomb coming across our southern border.”
The Border Patrol just seized enough fentanyl to kill millions of Americans. This was not just a drug bust—it was a dirty bomb coming across our southern border. https://t.co/k0DYXYKGdJ
— Tom Cotton (@SenTomCotton) January 31, 2019