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More than 1.1 million fentanyl pills seized on Arizona-Mexico border in one week, border agents say

More than 1.1 million fentanyl pills seized on Arizona-Mexico border in one week, border agents say

NOGALES, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) — More than a million fentanyl pills were seized on the Nogales side of the Arizona-Mexico border in less than a week, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

In a tweet, port director Michael Humpheries announced that agencies stopped two shipments of more than 600,000 pills within 30 minutes on Thursday. They allegedly tried to smuggle the pills through the back and quarter panels and wheel wells of a car. Similar drug busts took place a few days earlier on Saturday, where border agents stopped three separate drug smuggling efforts. On Sunday, officers found methamphetamine in addition to the fentanyl pills. It contains at least 1,178,400 fentanyl pills in one week

Fentanyl on the rise around the Phoenix area

Several records have been confiscated in Arizona in recent months. Earlier this week, the Phoenix Police Department’s crime lab recovered the first batch of rainbow, multicolored fentanyl. Law enforcement agencies across the country have seen new types of pills, experts say, to appeal to a younger audience. Arizona’s Family recently spoke with the American Academy of Pediatrics, which says more children are using fentanyl, and are seeing more cases of respiratory depression.

On Wednesday, a woman was arrested after her 12-year-old son was found unresponsive in a Surprise hotel room where fentanyl and methamphetamine were found inside. Court documents later revealed that the child tested positive for fentanyl after her mother smoked fentanyl powder in the room. That news came just days after Valley children were found to have fentanyl in their systems.

“It’s hard to avoid and it’s very sad,” Valley pediatrician Dr. Gary Kirkilas told Arizona Family’s Michael Raimondi. “Our young people can find it because it’s everywhere and it’s cheap enough to buy.”

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In Mesa, a smoke shop owner and an employee were arrested after allegedly selling thousands of fentanyl pills to undercover agents. After the arrest, the owner told authorities he was shipping 20,000 pills a week, often to New York and Virginia.

It’s not just the Valley, either. In northern Arizona, Prescott Valley police said the drug contributed to a single-vehicle crash. Officers eventually saved his life using Narcan. As of Friday morning, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office says they have seized 878,520 pills this year. “These statistics are shocking and speak volumes,” said Sheriff David Rhodes.

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