Saturday, March 2, 2024

Fentanyl-stuffed tamales intercepted at Mexico-U.S. border

Tamales are not always stuffed with delicacies such as chicharrón en salsa verde or mole.

They can also be filled with fentanyl pills, United States authorities discovered Wednesday.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers found more than 2,000 such pills inside tamales at the border crossing between Nogales, Sonora, and Nogales, Arizona.

“On Wednesday, CBP officers at the Nogales POE [port of entry] discovered approximately 2,100 fentanyl pills concealed inside tamales in an ice chest,” Michael W. Humphries, CBP port director in Nogales, wrote on Twitter.

“Each tamale contained a baggie of blue pills hidden inside. Excellent work by officers and K9 teams maintaining a high level of vigilance,” he added above photos of the illicit consignment.

This week, U.S. agents at the Nogales port of entry also seized a kind of rainbow-colored fentanyl pills that they hadn’t seen before.

Mexican drug cartels are major exporters of fentanyl to the United States, where overdose deaths from synthetic opioids exceeded 71,000 last year, according to the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics.

Wednesday’s seizure was at least the second time that fentanyl was confiscated by CBP officers in Nogales, Arizona, this week.

Humphries wrote on Twitter Tuesday that officers had “discovered a new version of ‘rainbow’ fentanyl pills not encountered before.”

He said that approximately 413,000 fentanyl pills were seized and 44,000 of that number “had the rainbow colors combined in each pill.”

The official didn’t report any arrests in connection with either fentanyl seizure.

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