U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers have succeeded in stopping the flow of another large fentanyl shipment into the United States.
Feds announced Tuesday that officials had intercepted 26 pounds of fentanyl, an extremely potent and frequently lethal drug, that was hidden inside of a truck subject to a secondary inspection at the Juarez-Lincoln International Bridge. The bridge separates Laredo, Texas, from the Mexican city of Nuevo Laredo.
A KGNS-TV report added that a canine unit sniffed out 10 separate packages that contained fentanyl, and that the drugs had an estimated street value of $728,000. The case has been turned over to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for further investigation, according to CBP.
"Our frontline CBP officers continued to remain vigilant amid heavy Semana Santa traffic and that dedication to the border security mission yielded a significant seizure of fentanyl," Port Director Albert Flores of the Laredo Port of Entry said in a statement.
In January, CBP officers made the largest fentanyl bust in U.S. history, when they discovered 254 pounds of the lethal drug hidden in a truck loaded with cucumbers.
There is a renewed effort in the Trump Administration to consider classifying the deadly agent as a Weapon of Massive Destruction (WMD). On Sunday, Task and Purpose reported that the Department of Homeland Security is considering the measure.
"Fentanyl's high toxicity and increasing availability are attractive to threat actors seeking nonconventional materials for a chemical weapons attack," DHS assistant secretary for countering weapons of mass destruction James F. McDonnell wrote in an internal memo obtained by the publication.
Although a lot of fentanyl comes into the United States via Mexico, feds have identified China as the primary source for the extremely addictive drug. It has become immensely difficult to stop its transfer to the United States, as fentanyl offers a major financial windfall to its smugglers, traffickers, and distributors.
However, the Chinese government recently pledged to do more to curtail its manufacturing, distribution, and illegal trafficking. On Wednesday, President Trump acknowledged China's efforts to crack down on fentanyl.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, fentanyl and its derivatives were responsible for 30,000 of the 72,000 overdose deaths in the US in 2017. Fentanyl is 80% to 100% more potent than morphine, according to the DEA.