U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) agents made the largest fentanyl bust in history at a commercial port of entry near Nogales, Ariz. on Saturday, agency officials announced Thursday.
Agents were alerted by a drug-sniffing dog to the presence of 254 pounds of fentanyl and 395 pounds of methamphetamine concealed in a tractor trailer at the Mariposa Port of Entry Saturday afternoon.
The fentanyl, valued at a $3.5 million, would be sufficient to kill roughly 57 million people and would have netted traffickers over $100 million in sales, according to an internal CBP memo obtained by Fox News.
Authorities arrested the 26-year-old Mexican national who was driving the truck and charged him with possessing a controlled substance with intent to distribute. The driver was a participant in the Department of Homeland Security’s trusted-traveler program, which is designed to expedite commercial vehicles’ entry into the U.S.
Michael Humphries, Nogales area port director, praised his team’s diligence in announcing the bust on Thursday.
“Their attention to small details that is necessary to make these types of seizures is incredible,” he said.
The historic seizure comes as negotiations over border-security funding continue on Capitol Hill among a 17-member bipartisan conference committee tasked with reaching a deal before funding lapses on February 15 and the government shuts down once again.
Fentanyl, a synthetic opiate up to 100 times more potent than morphine, was responsible for more than 28,000 overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control.