ST. LOUIS, Mo. (FOX2) — The Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) St. Louis Division broke its fentanyl seizure record for the Fiscal Year 2022.
The agency seized more than 671 pounds of the opioid across Missouri, Kansas, and southern Illinois. That’s a 41% increase over the year prior and more than the previous two years combined.
The St. Louis Division has been tracking fentanyl seizures since Fiscal Year 2018 after first encountering the drug in 2017:
- FY 2022 – 671 pounds
- FY 2021 – 396 pounds
- FY 2020 – 180 pounds
- FY 2019 – 227 pounds
- FY 2018 – 77 pounds
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), fentanyl is a synthetic opioid and is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. It is a prescription medication used to treat pain but is highly addictive due to its potency.
Some drug dealers will mix illegal fentanyl with other narcotics, like cocaine, heroin, meth, and MDMA, which is very dangerous because people tend to be unaware that fentanyl has been added to those drugs.
The NIDA says synthetic opioids are the most common drugs responsible for overdose deaths.
Besides fentanyl, DEA agents and task force officers confiscated more than 3,200 pounds of methamphetamine and approximately 57 pounds of heroin. The agency also seized over 500 weapons and $13.7 million from suspected leaders of organized criminal enterprises.