Single Fentanyl Bust Was Enough to Kill 5 Million People, Say Feds

China says US should curb its demand for opioids

Border Patrol agents seized 22 pounds of fentanyl during a traffic stop in southern California last week–enough to kill more than 5 million people.

Agents working in Temecula stopped a 2009 Ford Escape last Wednesday and made contact with a 54-year-old male U.S. citizen. Authorities noticed the headrests of the backseats were apparently tampered with and not of factory stock.

Agents discovered two metal boxes concealed in the headrests containing 12 plastic-wrapped packages. Nine of the bags were determined to hold 22 pounds of fentanyl and three others held 2.64 pounds of cocaine. The combined value of the fentanyl and cocaine was determined to have an estimated street worth of $236,400, according to a federal media release.

The driver was arrested and turned over to the DEA for a determination of charges. Temecula is approximately 65 miles north of San Diego.

Robert Arce is a retired Phoenix Police detective with extensive experience working Mexican organized crime and street gangs. Arce completed work assignments in the Balkans, Iraq, Haiti, and recently completed a three-year tour in Monterrey, Mexico, for the U.S. Department of State, International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Program. As the Regional Program Manager for Northeast Mexico in charge of the Mexican states of Coahuila, Tamaulipas, Nuevo Leon, Durango, San Luis Potosi, Zacatecas) You can follow him on Twitter or reach him at


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