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Tag: seizures

Parker: The Continuing Rapid Rise of Seizures and Overdose Fatalities Involving Fentanyl

Ross Parker

Ross Parker

Ross Parker was chief of the criminal division in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Detroit for 8 years and worked as an AUSA for 28 in that office.

By Ross Parker
ticklethewire.com

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) issued an alert this week about the continuing rapid rise of seizures and overdose fatalities involving fentanyl. As reported in this column last June, fentanyl is a fast-acting opioid , 50-100 times stronger than morphine, that is now being used by sellers to mix with heroin in order to increase the “high.” The problem is that the substance is so much more potent that users often do not know of this increase and have a greater risk of suffering a fatal overdose.

The danger posed by this development has risen dramatically in the last three years, and the increase in 2014 was at epidemic levels. DEA has responded with ramping up enforcement activity. Seizures have gone from 618 in 2012, 949 in 2013, to a staggering 4,585 in 2014. These seizures are concentrated in ten states, with Ohio having the highest number of seizures (1,245), followed by Massachusetts (630), and Pennsylvania (419).

Most of this rise has been from illegal manufacturing operations rather than diversion of pharmaceutically produced drugs, according to a report by the DEA Office of Diversion Control. The alert was reported in this week’s Medscape Medical News.

The CDC asked law enforcement to participate in expanded surveillance and record-keeping programs, along with medical examiners and emergency rooms, to report these seizures to local public health departments. It also warned law enforcement officers to take special safety precautions to avoid exposure to the drug either through skin contact or by inadvertently inhaling it.

Less Marijuana But More Dangerous Drugs Seized by Border Patrol This Year

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A lot less marijuana was seized this fiscal year by the U.S. Border Patrol in San Diego, but the agency has seen a sizable increase in the amount of cocaine, methamphetamine and heroin confiscated, KPBS reports.

Leaders at the San Diego sector said the seizures represent a tighter security.

“I am very pleased with our progress within San Diego sector’s area of responsibility,” said Chief Patrol Agent Paul Beeson in a statement. “The level of border security achieved over the years has resulted in an increase in the quality of life along the border as noted by the development of housing, shopping malls, small businesses and community infrastructure.”

Although marijuana seizures were down, it remained the most popular drug by weight. Agents seized 17,497 pounds of marijuana, 1,697 pounds of cocaine, 2,880 ounces of heroin and 1,797 pounds of meth.

The agency also arrested nearly 30,000 people for entering the country illegally during the fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30.

Drug Seizures Double Since Venezuela Kicked Out the DEA in 2005

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

Venezuelan authorities are seizing far more drugs every year since the government broke ties with the DEA in 2005, the Venezuelan Analysis reports.

Since 2005, the Venezuelan government has seized 462 tons of illegal drugs – or twice the amount seized under a partnership with the country in the seven years prior to the severed relationship, the Venezuelan Analysis reported.

“Members of the FANB [Bolivarian National Armed Forces] have made a sustained effort on the front to fight drug trafficking,” Vladimir Padrino, head of the Strategic Operational Command of Venezuelan armed forces, said according to state news agency AVN.

Drug seizures peaked in the year before the Venezuelan government gave the boot to the DEA.

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