(NEW YORK) — Customs and Border Protection seized more fentanyl so far in 2021 than all of 2020.
As of April, 6,494 pounds of fentanyl were seized by authorities at the border, compared to 4,776 pounds in all of 2020. In fact, fentanyl seizures have been increasing since 2018.
Fentanyl is an incredibly potent opioid that is 50-100 times stronger than morphine, according to Dr. Darien Sutton, an emergency medicine physician based in Los Angeles and ABC News contributor.
“People don’t realize how dangerous it is,” he said.
As a physician, Sutton administers fentanyl in micrograms and said that the more than 6,000 pounds seized by the CBP is incomprehensible.
“When you talk about that amount, how many communities and people that will affect and how many deaths that will be associated with (more than 6,000 pounds of fentanyl) you can’t even comprehend it just because it’s not fathomable,” he said.
Methamphetamine seizures are more slowly approaching 2020 levels, according to CBP. So far this year, 105,032 pounds of methamphetamine have been seized. In all of 2020, there were just over 177,000 pounds of meth seized.
“CBP’s Office of Field Operations has seen a slight increase in narcotic seizures at its southern border ports of entry in fiscal year 2021,” a spokesman for CBP said in a statement to ABC News. “As cross-border travel shifted to essential-travel only, criminal organizations shifted their operations as well. CBP has seen an increase in seizures amongst U.S. citizens and in the commercial environment as both demographics are exempt from the travel restrictions.”
Marijuana seizures continue to be the highest amount of drugs per weight seized, as has been in the case in years past.
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