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Operation Lone Star Officers Seize 3.1 Million Doses of Fentanyl in Single Stop

Texas Department of Public Safety officers apprehend a suspect accused of human trafficking at the southern border. Texas Department of Public Safety
Texas Department of Public Safety officers apprehend a suspect accused of human trafficking at the southern border. Texas Department of Public Safety

By: Bethany Blankley

Texas Operation Lone Star officers continue to disprove Biden administration claims that 90% of fentanyl being brought in from Mexico by cartels and their operatives is seized at ports of entry.

On Monday, a Texas state trooper working through OLS seized 14 pounds of fentanyl in a single traffic stop in Mission, Texas. The amount is enough to kill over 3.1 million people. The seizure is one of the largest single fentanyl seizures since Gov. Greg Abbott launched the state’s border mission in March 2021.

"Fentanyl is the single greatest drug threat our state and country has ever known, and this record amount of fentanyl seized would have otherwise made its way into communities across Texas and the nation because of President Joe Biden's open border policies," Gov. Greg Abbott said. "Through Texas' historic Operation Lone Star mission, a DPS [Department of Public Safety] trooper prevented 3.1 million lethal doses of fentanyl – enough to kill every Texan in Austin, Dallas, and El Paso combined – from taking more innocent lives during a single traffic stop. I thank our brave DPS troopers, and all Operation Lone Star mission personnel, for their work to secure our border and keep Texans safe."

"Because of this single seizure, millions of lethal doses of fentanyl will not make their way into communities across our state, and really our country, and millions of lives are potentially saved," DPS Director Steve McCraw said. "This seizure clearly shows the important work that is happening along our border through the Operation Lone Star mission, and I want to thank Governor Abbott for his continued leadership in the fight against fentanyl."

A Texas Highway Patrol trooper made the drug bust after stopping the driver of a black Cadillac SUV for a traffic violation at the intersection of 43 Street and Gumwood Avenue in Mission. He found that inside the vehicle were five tape-wrapped bundles containing a white powdery substance. The substance tested positive for fentanyl in the field and at a DPS crime laboratory, and had an estimated street value of roughly $312,000.

The driver, a male Mexican national, was arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance and booked in the Hidalgo County Jail.

The seizure is an example of how Texas law enforcement officers are catching fentanyl being brought into the U.S. not caught at ports of entry, despite claims made by those in the Biden administration.

At a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing last month, Secretary of State Antony Blinken testified that "96% of the fentanyl coming to the United States is coming through legal ports of entry” and that by expanding technology at the ports, more would be seized.

A week later, before the same committee, DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas testified that over 90% of fentanyl coming into the U.S. is seized at ports of entry.

U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, interrupted him, saying, “That’s a totally made up number. You had over a million people evade Border Patrol detection and detention between 2022 and 2023. You have no idea how many of those people were carrying fentanyl or other drugs with them, do you?”

Mayorkas repeated the 90% claim from an “expert view” he said he was given, without identifying the expert or saying who gave him that information.

Cornyn again said, “That’s a totally made up number and you know it.”

A month earlier, ranking member of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Rep. Jamie Raskin, D-Maryland, claimed the majority of fentanyl, 90%, was being seized at the southern border at ports of entry and that over 80% of those apprehended for smuggling it were American citizens.

Tucson Sector Border Patrol Chief John Modlin disputed the claim, stating half the fentanyl his agents have seized is in the field. Fentanyl is being brought in in backpacks by foreign nationals who are mostly single military age men who’ve entered the U.S. illegally from Mexico, he said.

Since March 2021, as of April 7, Texas OLS officers have seized more than 380 million lethal doses of fentanyl not at ports of entry but all over Texas, enough to kill more than everyone in the U.S.

Law enforcement officers have expressed concern that the amount they’re seizing is a fraction of what’s coming through.

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