Nearly one million more fentanyl pills seized at Arizona-Mexico border

Port Director Michael Humphries often shares drug bust statistics on Twitter.
Port Director Michael Humphries often shares drug bust statistics on Twitter.(CBP)
Published: Feb. 13, 2023 at 2:23 PM MST
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NOGALES, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- U.S. Border Patrol agents continue reporting a massive influx of illegal drugs, many of which are dangerous narcotics that are seemingly pouring into the country.

In a tweet, Nogales Port Director Michael W. Humphries reported the startling numbers. Over the course of the last week, just over one million pills had been seized at the border. Photos of the drug bust shared on social media showed fentanyl pills strapped to the back and chest, hidden in spare tires and back seat. Some even stealthily continued in gas tanks and speaker boxes.

In the last month, Arizona’s Family has reported on several stories related to the state’s opioid crisis. Officials seized 180,000 fentanyl pills as the smugglers tried to enter the United States from nearby Douglas. And recently, a toddler died days after overdosing on fentanyl.

Heartbreaking stories of drug overdose victims have placed more pressure on state prosecutors and legislatures to deal with the crisis that hits closer to home to more Arizona families each and every day. Still, there are signs of hope.

State Sen. Anthony Kern, a Republican from Glendale, recently introduced Senate Bill 1029, which would make dealing or selling fentanyl punishable by first-degree murder if it results in an overdose death. “Then that is a class 1 felony subject to the death penalty, life in prison,” said Kern in a committee meeting.

Advocates say that this would reduce the number of drug dealings in the country and hold distributors accountable. Opponents, however, say it may criminalize the wrong people and be difficult to prove intent.