U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has reported seizing about 170,000 pounds of drugs so far this year from the southwest border with methamphetamine making up 56% of the drugs seized.
The Drug Enforcement Administration says there is no way of tracking the exact amount of drugs that are trafficked from the border into Minnesota. However, the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS) reports that “large shipments of narcotics via Mexican drug trafficking organizations have been increasing over the past few years.”
“It is common to seize 30 or more pounds of narcotics when in the past, a seizure of a few pounds was significant,” the agency says.
Meth continues to be the most prevalent drug investigated and seized in Minnesota, according to DPS.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, more than 20,000 pounds of total drugs were seized in April alone with 11,000 pounds being meth. So far this year, 95,456 pounds of meth has been seized.
Earlier this month, U.S. law enforcement officials from Homeland Security Investigations discovered a cross-border tunnel used to traffic drugs.
The tunnel stretched from Mexico to a warehouse in Otay Mesa, Calif., just east of a port of entry. It’s estimated to be 1,744 feet long with reinforced walls, a rail system, electricity and a ventilation system, according to the United States Department of Justice. Last week, six people who used the tunnel were charged with trafficking cocaine, meth and heroin.
On May 6, CBP officers discovered 913 pounds of meth in buckets being transported from Mexico. More than $18 million worth of methamphetamine was seized, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The 33-year-old driver transporting the buckets from Mexico was arrested.
U.S. Customs Border and Protection also reports that there was twice as much fentanyl seized in 2021 compared to 2020.
Last month, Alpha News released a special report on the opioid crisis. Opioids, like heroin and fentanyl, were behind 29 deadly overdoses in 2020 in St. Louis County and 42 last year. 346 people overdosed but were ultimately saved.