DEA: Drug overdose deaths in America hit record high, Mexican cartels stronger than ever before

Recent reports are showcasing a concerning trend relating to overdose deaths in the United States, with over 83,500 people having died from an overdose in the 12-month period ending July 2020. 

This upward trend of overdose deaths in concurrence with a recent report from the DEA noting that Mexican cartel operations are only getting stronger makes the matter even all the more concerning. 

With the data showcasing that fatal overdoses have increased by approximately 24%, the CDC issued a health advisory back on December 17th of 2020 specifically making mention of fentanyl-related deaths and the rise in overdoses in correlation to lockdown measures enacted at the onset of the pandemic: 

“The purpose of this Health Alert Network (HAN) Advisory is to alert public health departments, healthcare professionals, first responders, harm reduction organizations, laboratories, and medical examiners and coroners to -” 

“(1) substantial increases in drug overdose deaths across the United States, primarily driven by rapid increases in overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids excluding methadone (hereafter referred to as synthetic opioids), likely illicitly manufactured fentanyl;”

“(2) a concerning acceleration of the increase in drug overdose deaths, with the largest increase recorded from March 2020 to May 2020,coinciding with the implementation of widespread mitigation measures for the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Back in May of 2020, we at Law Enforcement Today shared a report about many of the projected deaths of despair that experts predicted would result from lockdown measures – with overdoses being among those predictions. 

But what seems to be the biggest issue in the realm of overdose death increasing is fentanyl, which the DEA says is an ever-increasing problem due to the lethality of the drug in small doses and Mexican cartels’ manufacturing and distribution of the drug here in the United States. 

The DEA report says that the, “majority of heroin and fentanyl available in the United States is smuggled,” through the southern border – with Mexican cartels obtaining the chemicals needed to manufacture the drug via Chinese suppliers. 

But there’s also an issue, per the DEA, with fentanyl being directly ordered online and shipped from China as well: 

“China-sourced fentanyl typically is smuggled in small volumes and generally tested over 90 percent pure.”

Apparently, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that’s generally between 50 to 100 times stronger than actual heroin – with doses as small as 2mg being fatal.

Sometimes the drug is laced in counterfeit pills made to look like they’re prescription Oxycodone pills, which are typically referred to as “Mexican oxys”. 

Considering that roughly 80 percent of heroin started out using prescription painkillers like Oxycodone, this practice of counterfeit pills can contribute to unintentional overdoses as well. 

It’s not only fentanyl that cartels have increased production efforts on, but also methamphetamine. The DEA says that the cartels control the, “wholesale methamphetamine distribution,” and that, “Mexican and domestic criminal groups typically control retail distribution in the United States.”

And with that increased production of methamphetamine comes an increase in overdoses, which the DEA says is continuing to increase: 

“Drug poisoning deaths involving methamphetamine continue to rise as methamphetamine purity and potency remain high while prices remain relatively low.”

Powder cocaine overdose deaths have also been steadily increasing since 2013, with the wholesale market being dominated Columbian-produced product that in turn gets distributed by the Mexican cartels. 

From there, the powder cocaine winds up in the hands of, “local U.S. criminal groups and street gangs,” who then, “facilitate mid-and retail-level distribution.” When it comes to crack cocaine production, the DEA says that it, “is mainly handled by local U.S. criminal groups and street gangs.”

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Back in February of 2020, we at Law Enforcement Today shared a report pertaining to drug overdoses that were impacting sanctuary counties in Ohio – noting that with lax immigration enforcement came upticks in drug-induced deaths. 

Here’s that previous report from February of 2020. 

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Ohio – A recent study of drug overdose-related deaths shows that there’s a link between immigration sanctuary counties and an increased number of fatal overdoses.

Well, imagine that. 

Within Franklin County in Ohio, the number of drug related deaths had increased so much, that the county coroner is seeking to have another morgue established to accommodate the spike in cadavers.

That’s because in Franklin county, when comparing recorded drug overdoses from 2015 to 2017, there’s been an increase in 57 percent of fatalities between the two years.

Franklin county is also one of the nine counties that is a harbor for illegal immigrants.

Virginia Krieger is one of the many grieving parents who had a child’s life cut short due to the influx in drugs within the communities of Ohio. While speaking on a podcast with Daniel Horowitz, Krieger described the loss of her daughter:

“My daughter was an all-American girl. She was not addicted to drugs and would have never taken fentanyl.

She was in a lot of pain because Ohio clamped down on legitimate prescription pain medicine, and someone she thought was her friend gave her what she thought was the same painkiller.

Instead, it was a fentanyl pill and she died.” 

There were three government policies that Krieger pointed toward that played a hand in her daughter’s untimely demise. The first was Ohio’s clamping down of prescription pain medications, causing those needing respite to seek other means of self-medicating.

The second area she referred to was the state’s weak stance against combatting drug trafficking and dealing.

The third issue she cited was the presence of sanctuary cities which can play host to illegal immigrants with cartel ties.

In response to the death of her daughter, Krieger created the group called “Parents Against Illicit Narcotics”.

When she had began looking into the data regarding the increases in drug-related deaths, she couldn’t help but realize that the state’s sanctuary cities had the largest increase in those fatal overdoses.

Counties like Allen had a 92 percent increase between 2015 and 2017.

Lake County held a 95 percent increase.

Montgomery county had an astonishing 105 percent increase between the years. The combined average of all the nine sanctuary counties in Ohio had a 74 percent increase in fatal overdoses overall.

When comparing that increase to the 79 other counties in the state, those non-sanctuary counties held an average of a 59.7 percent increase in drug overdoses.

There are too many coincidences to ignore within Ohio. From 2015 to 2019, the Ohio High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area noted a 1,600 percent increase in methamphetamines seized – which happens to coincide with around the time the state starting introducing sanctuary counties.

Robert Murphy, the special agent in charge of the DEA’s Atlanta, Georgia office, recently stated that his office is running into the same issue of illegal immigrants and overall drug crime:

“Unfortunately, in the drug arena, it happens to be predominantly illegal aliens, especially here when what we deal with most is the cartel activity.”

In the current DEA threat assessment report, the following was stated about drug trafficking in Ohio:

“Ties with Sinaloa and CJNG Cartel are apparent, with heavy presence in northeast Ohio.

Narcotics are transported throughout the region by various means, most often via the mail, tractor trailers, and cars. [Transnational Criminal Organizations] supply local [Drug Trafficking Operations] and violent neighborhood gangs.”

With all the Republican clout that is present throughout the state of Ohio, Krieger wants to know why there are sanctuary counties within the state.

With a Republican majority state house, senate, and Republican AG and governor, there’s simply no reason why Ohio is pandering to illegal immigrants.


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Author: Gregory Hoyt

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