Sheriff Mark Lamb of Pinal County, Arizona, spoke with Fox News to tell how, due to the problem of insecurity along the southern U.S. border, large quantities of drugs are being trafficked into local communities and wreaking havoc.
This week, the Drug Enforcement Administration issued a public safety alert, the first in six years, due to an increase in counterfeit pills.
In Pinal County, police receive a call every 40 hours related to fentanyl, the fatal synthetic drug sourced primarily from China.
Last year alone in Arizona, 6 million counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl were seized.
So far, in 2021, that figure has already been surpassed.
“Honestly, we’re seeing a disaster,” said Lamb. “Eighty-five percent of the people that are in my jail right now are there because of alcohol or drugs. So yeah, it’s a big impact in our communities.”
The sheriff said his team is struggling daily with the flow of illegal M-30 fentanyl pills coming over the U.S.-Mexico border.
“As long as we don’t secure our border what we continue to see is human trafficking and drug trafficking in this country, I always tell people this isn’t a political issue, this is an issue that is about protecting America and American communities,” said Lamb. “What we’re seeing is an exorbitant amount of humans being trafficked into this country and drugs.”
In 2020, more than 93,000 people died from drug overdoses, and fentanyl was a significant player.
Authorities at the border and customs went from seizing zero pills in 2018 to 700 in 2019. Last year the jump was huge, 200 thousand, and this year they have already seized 1.1 million doses of fentanyl.
But for Pinal’s sheriff, the landscape looks even more hopeless.
“We expect those numbers to go even higher before the end of the year. That is staggering and should be alarming to the American people, because we are likely not catching even 10% of what is coming in this country,” said Lamb.
It’s not just Arizona; fentanyl seizures have doubled this year alone across the entire southwest border.
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reported seizing nearly 900 kilograms of fentanyl in the fiscal year 2018; in 2019, the number jumped to almost 1200 kilograms; more than 2000 in 2020; and more than 4500 kilograms from last October to now.
“We’re doing the best we can, we work with Border Patrol, we use our aviation in conjunction with Border Patrol, we have an anti-smuggling unit that’s actively out looking in the desert, we have drug units that go out and go out to the drug dealers and the people that are pushing the fentanyl pills and the methamphetamines and the marijuana,” said Lamb.
Although senior Biden administration officials have denied that there is an open border policy, the elimination of immigration policies from the previous administration, such as ‘stay in Mexico’ and the complete halt of the construction of the wall, have contributed to millions of illegal immigrants venturing into the United States through the southern border.
According to a Breitbart report, the Border Patrol reported an all-time record number of apprehensions this year.
A source within CBP said that as of Wednesday, Sept. 29, the number of unofficial apprehensions exceeded 1,646,000 for the year, the highest number since the border agency was established.