DEA’s St. Louis Division Seizes Record Amount of Fentanyl As Overdoses Reach Alarming Levels

Rainbow fentanyl pills seized by the DEA. Photo via DEA.

By Steve Neavling

The DEA’s St. Louis Division seized a record amount of fentanyl in fiscal year 2022 – more than eight times the amount confiscated five years ago. 

The division seized 671 pounds in 2022, compared to 396 pounds in 2021, 180 pounds in 2020, 227 pounds in 2019, and 77 pounds in 2018. 

“Looking at this staggering increase in seizures, there is no question that DEA and its local, state and federal partners have stepped up our efforts to stop fentanyl from reaching our communities,” Special Agent in Charge Michael A. Davis said in a statement Monday. “Unfortunately, the drugs pouring into the Midwest in multiple forms is also a sign that drug trafficking organizations will go to any length to profit from the misery of our citizens. We’ll continue to take down these criminal networks and put out the message that what they’re selling kills.”

CBP announced a record amount of fentanyl was seized at the U.S.-Mexico border in fiscal year 2022. 

The seizures come at a time when overdoses are reaching alarming levels. 

In April, the Drug Enforcement Administration warned of an alarming increase in fentanyl deaths. In the 12-month period ending in October 2021, more than 105,000 Americans died of drug overdoses, and 66% of those deaths were from synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, according to the CDC. More Americans are dying from fentanyl overdoses than gun- and auto-related deaths combined. 

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