U.S. fentanyl bust in Lego box factors to Mexican cartels, DEA suggests

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U.S. authorities seized 15,000 rainbow-coloured fentanyl products concealed in a Lego toy box destined for distribution in New York Town, the city’s most significant this kind of seizure to day in accordance to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

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Fentanyl, a artificial opioid 50 moments more powerful than heroin, is amongst the top drivers of a nationwide overdose epidemic that has claimed a lot more than 100,000 lives in the United States in the earlier calendar year.

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The DEA on Tuesday said the New York seizure factors to broader distribution of the vibrant supplements, thought to be mainly equipped by Mexico’s two most effective prison gangs, the Sinaloa cartel and Jalisco New Technology Cartel.

The cartels mass-create fentanyl tablets in rainbow colours to brand name them and mimic candy and prescription treatment, the agency claimed.

Fentanyl pills found by officers from the Drug Enforcement Administration are seen in this handout picture, in New York, Oct. 4, 2022.
Fentanyl tablets found by officers from the Drug Enforcement Administration are observed in this handout picture, in New York, Oct. 4, 2022. Photograph by Drug Enforcement Administration /Handout through REUTERS

“Using joyful colors to make a deadly drug look pleasurable and harmless is a new low, even for the Mexican cartels,” New York narcotics metropolis prosecutor Bridget Brennan explained in a statement, noting fentanyl accounts for in excess of 80% of fatal overdoses in the town.

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“These staggering studies underscore the value of reminding the community that just just one tablet can destroy,” said DEA agent Frank Tarentino.

The United States has a short while ago flagged a spike in fentanyl seizures at its border with Mexico. In July, it claimed its premier-ever seizure of virtually 1,200 lbs (540 kilograms) of the drug in Sinaloa point out. Just two milligrams is considered a deadly dose.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disorder Management and Avoidance, deaths linked to fentanyl and equivalent synthetic opioids surged by far more than 20% very last year to exceed 70,000, additional than twice the determine attributed to meth overdoses.

The DEA said close to two in five tablets analyzed contained a lethal dose. In a the latest 15-week procedure, the DEA explained it experienced seized the equal of 50 percent a million lethal doses in New York.

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