Speed Reads

opioid crisis

Border agents just seized enough fentanyl to kill 57 million people

A truck filled with cucumbers turned out to have a much more insidious load onboard: $3.5 million in fentanyl and $1.1 million in methamphetamine.

Border patrol agents announced the drug bust on Thursday, which was made with the help of a drug-sniffing dog, NBC News reports. Smugglers had hidden 254 pounds of fentanyl under the floorboard of a truck at the border's port of entry in Nogales, Arizona, along with 395 pounds of methamphetamine.

Fentanyl was credited with 18,000 overdose deaths in 2016, making it the deadliest illicit drug out there, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report recently found. Thursday's haul contained enough fentanyl to kill about 57 million people, an internal border patrol report obtained by Fox News said. That bust breaks a previous record of 118 pounds of fentanyl found in Nebraska last year, per the Kansas City Star.

The illegal drug trade has been a major talking point in President Trump's quest for a southern border wall. Conservatives quickly seized on the discovery, with Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) using it to declare "there is a crisis on our border." Still, Drug Enforcement Agency records show a wall wouldn't curb the drug flow. A "majority of the flow" of drugs over the U.S.-Mexico border happens at legal ports of entry, and only "a small percentage" is seized during illegal crossings, the DEA said in its 2018 threat assessment.