Fentanyl pills are coming across US-Mexico border and into OK, says sheriff
MARIETTA, Okla. (KXII) - The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics has seized approximately 80,000 counterfeit oxycodone tablets, according to a press release sent from the governor’s office on Wednesday.
In the release, Governor Kevin Stitt called the increase in meth and fentanyl a serious security issue that directly impacts Oklahomans.
“This border crisis affects our entire nation,” Stitt said. In Oklahoma, we have seen an increase in the trafficking of illicit drugs, namely methamphetamine and fentanyl, which are being smuggled across our southern border from Mexico. Most methamphetamine available in our state is produced in Mexico and fentanyl-related deaths are up over 150% over the last year.”
Last week Love County Sheriff Marty Grisham attended a convention put on by the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
Grisham said the Texas sheriffs who spoke at the convention said fentanyl pills are coming across the border. Grisham said it’s just a matter of time before it’s his problem too.
“They’re bringing a lot of fentanyl across with them from the cartels,” Grisham said. “And Oklahoma is not immune to the immigration problems and maybe especially the fentanyl problems.”
Oklahoma is in the middle of opioid country. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, in 2018, almost 8 out of 10 Oklahomans were prescribed an opioid.
Grisham said he and his deputies already see other opioids on the streets.
“We do have meth and other opioids,” Grisham said. “And cocaine, things like that in our county. We haven’t run across-that I’ve been aware of anyway-fentanyl. I’m sure it’s there, but we just haven’t run across it yet in a big way. But it will affect us. At some point in time, someone will overdose on it.”
And he means it. Fentanyl is one of the deadliest drugs on the market. According to the CDC, it’s 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.
In late September, the Drug Enforcement Administration put out a public safety alert which states that international and domestic drug networks are “flooding” the U.S. with fake pills containing lethal doses of fentanyl and meth.
Last month, the Department of Homeland Security announced they had new guidelines for removing non-citizens who were a threat to public safety, and national or border security, which they’ll decide on a case by case basis.
Grisham said this is too tall an order for border patrol and local sheriffs alone.
“They’re just not letting them do their work,” Grisham said. “They’re catching them and releasing them is what they’re doing. They’re bringing them in, having them sign a promise to appear in a federal court somewhere, and they may or may not show up for that court appearance.”
Grisham said his travel and hotel fees were paid for by the conference, not with taxpayer money.
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