DEA Administrator Anne Milgram issued this warning during an Aug. 19 interview on "CBS Mornings." She cited two major drug cartels as the main driving forces behind the majority of fentanyl-related deaths in the United States.
"What we see happening at [the] DEA is essentially, there are two cartels in Mexico – the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG) – that are killing Americans with fentanyl at catastrophic and record rates like we have never seen before," she said.
"Those cartels are acting with calculated, deliberate treachery to get fentanyl to the U.S. and to get people to buy it – through fake pills, by hiding it in other drugs, any means that they can take in order to drive addiction and to make money."
"CBS Mornings" co-host Tony Dokoupil pointed to how drug dealing operations had changed in recent years. "[Before, dealers] wanted to keep a person addicted, keep them paying money, but not kill them," he said.
"The whole world of drugs has changed," Milgram interjected, laying down two key points to back up her claim,
First, the DEA administrator remarked that the fentanyl entering the U.S. is synthetic. The two cartels are able to make an "unlimited amount" of fentanyl – provided that they have the precursor chemicals to manufacture them. The cartels purchase these substances from chemical companies in China, bringing them to Mexico to synthesize massive quantities of the drug.
Second, drug deals used to be conducted face-to-face, with involved parties clandestinely meeting with each other and transacting in back alleys. But the advent of social media also brought the drug trade to the different social platforms and apps. The apps where drug deals are ironed out include SnapChat and WhatsApp.
According to figures from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 108,000 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2021.
This number is set to increase, if not for the vigilance of law enforcement in stamping out drug trafficking. In one instance, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) agents in Arizona intercepted a record cache of illegal drugs on Aug. 20. (Related: 1.6 Million fentanyl pills, 114 pounds of cocaine seized at the border.)
CBP members in the Grand Canyon State seized 1.57 million fentanyl pills and 114 pounds of cocaine hidden within secret compartments of a tractor-trailer. The vehicle was attempting to cross into Arizona from Mexico via the Mariposa Port of Entry in Nogales, when CBP agents stopped it for inspection.
According to Michael W. Humphries, CBP area port director of the Nogales-Mariposa port of entry, "250,000 colored fentanyl pills with the appearance of candy" were among the drugs they seized. "This could be the start of a trend with transnational criminal organizations targeting younger users," he warned.
Milgram reiterated her agency's continued drive against fentanyl and other illegal drugs the cartels were illicitly distributing in the United States.
"Right now, we are actively investigating every single possible lead we can take. We are looking very much at what we can do in this space," Milgram remarked.
"Our top priority is to defeat the two cartels because to be really clear, there's an unlimited amount of drugs that they can make. We have to stop it before it comes from China to Mexico to the United States. We have to be aggressive on this."
DrugCartels.news has more stories about the role of the cartels in the U.S. drug trade.
Watch this Newsmax report about Mexican drug cartels pushing fentanyl into the U.S. via the southern border.
This video is from the NewsClips channel on Brighteon.com.