Customs officials announced on Monday a seven-year sentence for a suspect due to the largest Fentanyl bust in its history after taking 80 pounds of the stuff from a Mexican college student on Monday.
Flavio Diego Rivera Davalos was arrested in possession of 31 packages — yielding 80 pounds — of the synthetic opioid, Daily Caller reported.
Flavio Diego Rivera Davalos, a 20-year-old from Tijuana, Mexico, drove a 2010 Ford Focus stuffed with 77.82 pounds of fentanyl, a painkiller roughly 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine, to the San Ysidro Port of Entry near San Diego on Dec. 9, 2017. A drug sniffing dog soon alerted agents with U.S. Customs and Border Protection to the presence of drugs in the trunk, reports The San Diego Union-Tribune.
A subsequent search yielded 31 packages of fentanyl, enough to kill nearly 1 million people. The massive bust represents the largest-ever seizure of fentanyl at a U.S. port of entry in history. Rivera, a visa holder, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in March to narcotics trafficking charges. (RELATED: Heroin Dealer Faces Life In Prison After Pleading Guilty To Causing 27 Opioid Overdoses, Including Nine That Proved Fatal)
“Here, vigilant law enforcement agents took 800,000 fatal fentanyl doses off the streets, effectively preventing defendant’s deadly fentanyl stash from resulting in thousands of devastating overdoses,” said U.S. Attorney Adam Braverman, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune.
Daily Caller added that the opioid crisis is getting worse by the year.
“Opioid seizures by U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents nearly doubled from 579 pounds in 2013 to 1,135 pounds in 2017, a recent report from Democratic Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill shows,” the website said.
“Drug overdoses, fueled by opioids, are now the leading cause of accidental death for Americans under age 50, killing more than 64,000 people in 2016,” DC added.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse:
Every day, more than 115 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids.1 The misuse of and addiction to opioids—including prescription pain relievers, heroin, and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl—is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total “economic burden” of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, lost productivity, addiction treatment, and criminal justice involvement
Last year the Trump administration declared the opioid crisis a national public health emergency.
“We are currently dealing with the worst drug crisis in American history,” Trump said in October of 2017, adding, “We are currently dealing with the worst drug crisis in American history,” Trump said, adding, “it’s just been so long in the making. Addressing it will require all of our effort.”
“We can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic,” he said.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.