While illegal drugs have certainly been a product smuggled across our porous southern border, in fact, a good amount of synthetic opioid seems to be flowing into our country directly from China. And so, unless Chinese-manufactured Fentanyl, and other opiate analogues, are carried across the US-Mexican border by drug mules hired by runners, more vigilant border enforcement along our Southern boundary will do little to stop the suffering and deaths caused by these hazardous substances.
While it is true that “Mexican black tar” heroin, as well as fentanyl, have been reported as being seized along our border, the amount is staggering, certainly not insignificant. in 2019, Customs and Border Protection seized more than two thousand pounds of pure fentanyl, enough of the drug to not only get every American higher than a jet, but also kill our entire population. The lethal dose is so small, due to its incredibly potency, that a single salt-grain-sized crystal could do the job.
President Trump unofficially ordered that all carriers, both public and private,e begin searching for shipments of Fentanyl in ALL deliveries from China. “I am ordering all carriers, including Fed Ex, Amazon, UPS and the Post Office, to SEARCH FOR & REFUSE,…all deliveries of Fentanyl from China (or anywhere else!). Fentanyl kills 100,000 Americans a year. President Xi said this would stop – it didn’t. ”
In May of this year, Beijing, in compliance with United States requests, had criminalized fentanyl products. Emergency scheduling by the Department of Justice in February of 2018 has allowed the DEA and other law enforcement to more successfully target the distribution and sale of this dangerous narcotic. Even so, the deaths continue. Here on Staten Island, one of the many epicenters of the scourge, the death rate has declined, but only due to a more pro-active approach to the use of Narcan and similar opiate antidotes.
Congress already requires the U.S. Postal Service to receive more complete electronic data on all incoming shipments, helping the Postal Service to seize 1,000% more packages over the last few years. And yet, the deaths continue. Now, President Trump has added another tool to our Nation’s arsenal in fighting the War on Fentanyl, a requirement that all carriers, both public and private, open all parcels headed to the U.S. from China.
The goal is to permanently disrupt, and eventually disband, the international trade supply chains flooding our streets with the deadly drug. It’s well-known by the DEA where the Fentanyl is coming from. It’s less clear precisely who is bringing it over the border, or shipping it here to the US. And, it’s not just Fentanyl, both other opioid analogues like carfentanil, otherwise known as “elephant tranquilizers”, 10,000 times stronger than the equivalent dose of morphine. All of these synthetics pose a threat to our health and our nation’s future.
Presently, not only China has a thriving opiate manufacturing base. Pharmaceutical companies in India, the Netherlands, and Bangladesh have also been implicated in supplying both pre-cursors and synthetic opioids. These pre-cursors, as well as ready-for-sale opioids, are available online, both on the “dark web”, a collection of encrypted web sites only available with a special browser, using its own protocol, as well as the more standard Internet “clearnet” that everyone knows, and depends on, each day.
These international syndicates rely on air cargo, international mail, and express consignment to deliver super-pure, low-weight shipments of Fentanyl to the States. In the past, suppliers in China used fake names and addresses so that the parcels could not be tracked back so easily. However, the 2018 changes now make that increasingly difficult. Usually, the contents are declared as a legal, low-value item, to avoid detection, such as cosmetics, industrial powders, electronic accessories, food products, and gifts.
International illicit pharmaceutical conglomerates also employed a method of utilizing multiple freight companies, using a secondary package recipient whose sole function was to reship, and perhaps, repackage the Fentanyl, to further obfuscate the packages’ origins. The drug cartels are smart, but maybe, if Fed Ex, Amazon, UPS and the Post Office take the President seriously, we can all help to make a dent in this tragic situation.
Whether you love President Trump or hate him, at least he’s doing something to change the direction that the Fentanyl situation has been going in for so long. Here on Staten Island, we should all applaud the efforts. Though our President’s orders made via Twitter are non-binding, such directives could be codified via Executive Order, if it’s not taken seriously. While we’ve encountered many parodies of President Trump’s statements in recent weeks, this particular Tweet is on laughing matter, and in a county with one of the highest rates of deaths from opiates, I am sure all Islanders on the Left or Right, would certainly agree.
If you see something, say something. Everyone knows that Fentanyl is being dealt out of homes and businesses across the island. If you want to do your part in stopping this, please report tips to any of the following relevant agencies. It’s only because so many are turning a blind eye to dealing of opiates that this has continued, unabated, for so long. There is only so much the local police can do, on their own. If you care, show it! You may be saving the life of that bright-eyed fifteen year old next door with a promising future; in only a few short years, she may have become the next overdose victim. Affect the children in your community’s future NOW by stepping up and stopping this.