DEA: Mexican Cartels Using Social Media to Sell Fentanyl in U.S.

Photo via Shutterstock

By Steve Neavling

Mexican cartels are using social media to sell fentanyl in the U.S., and they’re often targeting children, the DEA’s top official told lawmakers Wednesday.

The Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels, which are responsible for fentanyl crisis, are selling the drug through social media platforms such as SnapChat, DEA Administrator Anne Milgram told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, NewsNation reports.

“The cartels understand that if someone dies from taking their deadly fentanyl, that there are 100 million other users on Snapchat that they can sell their drugs to,” Milgram said.

Former FBI agent Stuart Kaplan said cartels don’t have to rely on traditional ways of selling their drugs. 

“The cartels are sophisticated now in realizing that they don’t necessarily need to have people standing on street corners pushing their drugs,” the former agent, Stuart Kaplan, said. 

“They can hide behind the social media platforms in a very secure and discreet way and push their drugs out to our younger generation, and almost do it with the immunity of no enforcement whatsoever.”

SnapChat is especially popular because it has features such as disappearing messages, Kaplan said. 

“I have two children, they both have smartphones. You will not find Snapchat on either one of their devices,” said Kaplan.

In October 2022, the Social Media Victims Law Center (SMVLC) filed a lawsuit against SnapChat on behalf of nine juvenile victims of fentanyl overdoses, saying the company created a platform that obstructs parental supervision and enables drug dealers to easily locate children and young adults.

Leave a Reply