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Border officials seize 160,000 fentanyl pills, 14 pounds of powder in Nogales

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(NewsNation) — Among some of the first drug seizures of the fiscal year at the Nogales, Arizona, port of entry along the southern border include 160,000 fentanyl pills and 14.6 pounds of fentanyl powder.

In a post on X, the social media site formerly known as Twitter, Michael Humphries, Customs and Border Protection’s area port director for Nogales, said along with the fentanyl, 148.85 pounds of meth, 27.42 pounds of cocaine and 11.25 pounds of heroin were seized between Oct. 8 and Oct. 13.

Nogales has long been a hotspot for fentanyl seizures by law enforcement.

During the fiscal year 2023, which ran from Oct. 1 of last year through Sept. 30 of this year, more than 45 million fentanyl pills were seized by CBP Officers at the Nogales Port of Entry. Last October, around 2,260,100 total fentanyl pills were taken by Nogales border officials.

A little more than half, or 51.4%, of all fentanyl entering the United States comes through Arizona, with much of that coming from the southeast corner of the state. Drug Enforcement Agency data shows that in 2022, more than 20 million pills were seized in Maricopa County, which is about three and half hours north of the border — meaning the illicit drug was able to make it past multiple ports, checkpoints and other layers of law enforcement.

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine, and is a “major contributor” to fatal and nonfatal overdoses in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Biden administration earlier this year announced its plans to implement 123 new non-intrusive, large-scale inspection scanners at ports of entry along the southern border by 2026. Some on the frontlines who spoke to NewsNation, though, said it doesn’t matter how much technology is added to the ports — people will find a way to get fentanyl into the United States.