Border Patrol agents arrested two 18-year-old men allegedly found with over 99 pounds of fentanyl pills.
According to USBP Chief Patrol Agent Gregory K. Bovino, the arrest happened during a traffic stop on Interstate 10 near the Coachella Valley.
There was no word on exactly when and/or where the traffic stop occurred. We've reached out to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection for more information.
El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents have arrested three teenagers for allegedly smuggling fentanyl over the past two days.
On Monday, Bovino announced on social media that agents apprehended another 18-year-old man in possession of 14 pounds of fentanyl.
"Youth exploited by international syndicates, one more teen added to the list of victims," Bovino wrote on X.
Stay with News Channel 3 as we work to learn more information about these arrests.
According to public safety officials, there were 503 confirmed fentanyl-related fatalities countywide last year, compared to just under 400 in 2021, a 200-fold increase from 2016, when there were only two.
Fentanyl is manufactured in overseas labs, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, which says the substance is smuggled across the U.S.-Mexico border by cartels. Fentanyl is 80-100 times more potent than morphine and can be mixed into any number of street narcotics and prescription drugs, without a user knowing what he or she is consuming. Ingestion of only two milligrams can be fatal.
In May, Karen Devine investigated local efforts to combat the fentanyl crisis in the Coachella Valley. Hear from Riverside County DA Mike Hestrin and State Assemblymember Greg Wallis, as well as a parent who lost their child, in her special report, "Fatal Flaw."
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