Exclusive— Joe Lombardo: Biden’s Open Border, ‘Sisolak’s Soft-on-Crime Policies’ to Blame for Rising Fentanyl Deaths

FILE - In this Aug. 3, 2018, file photo, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo speaks at a new
AP Photo/John Locher

Fentanyl deaths and drug trafficking are on the rise in Nevada, largely due to President Joe Biden’s open border and Democrat Gov. Steve Sisolak’s “soft-on-crime” policies, Republican gubernatorial candidate Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo told Breitbart News.

“As sheriff, I see the disastrous impact of Biden’s open border policies every single day. Joe Biden’s chaos at the border and Steve Sisolak’s soft-on-crime policies have emboldened drug traffickers and criminals who wish to do harm to our community. Nevadans are paying the price of Biden and Sisolak’s decisions,” Lombardo said. 

In July alone, 2,071 pounds of fentanyl were seized nationwide, which is the equivalent of 469 million lethal doses. Last week, Nevada State Police seized 56 pounds of suspected fentanyl in Ely, and similar stories are popping up around the state. Just two milligrams of fentanyl is considered a deadly dose — “a size so small it could fit on the tip of a pen,” according to the Department of Justice.

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Fentanyl is primarily manufactured in China before being flown into Mexico where the Mexican drug cartels then traffic the drug into American communities via the nation’s porous southern border. Lombardo’s campaign noted that while Biden’s “disastrous open border policies have made it easier for drug traffickers to bring drugs into the country, Steve Sisolak has made it easier for drug dealers and traffickers to operate in Nevada.”

“In 2019, Sisolak raised the substance amount required for a low-level drug trafficking charge by 2400 percent, from 4 grams to 100 grams. Sisolak also increased the substance amount for a high-level trafficking charge from 28 grams to 400 grams, a 1,328 percent increase – giving drug dealers and traffickers a huge break. Since 2019, trafficking charges with a weight of 100 grams or more have increased over 1,000 percent,” said Elizabeth Ray, Lombardo’s campaign spokesperson. 

Breitbart News reached out to representatives for Sisolak and asked what he is doing to fight the fentanyl crisis and if he would like to respond to Lombardo’s accusations. He did not respond by the time of publication. 

Numerous stories from local Nevada news outlets have begun to detail spikes in fentanyl deaths among young people and within the Hispanic community, which makes up 30 percent of the state’s population. In August of 2022, the Southern Nevada Health District reported that “fentanyl continues to be a significant public health concern in Clark County and is driving the increase in opioid-related deaths.” Clark County, the nation’s 14th-largest county, accounts for 70 percent of the state and includes Las Vegas.

“In 2021, there have been 619 drug overdose deaths among Clark County residents. Of these deaths opioids (prescription and illicit) accounted for 59.5 percent. Meanwhile, drug overdose deaths in Clark County increased 48.1 percent from 2019, whereas opioid-related deaths in Clark County increased by 56.6 percent in 2021. In 2021, the overdose death rate was highest in the 89101 ZIP code at 103.4 overdose deaths per 100,000 residents,” according to the Health District.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that nationwide overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids other than methadone, which includes fentanyl and fentanyl analogs, increased over 56 percent from 2019 to 2020. The number of overdose deaths involving synthetic opioids in 2020 was more than 18 times the number in 2013. Breitbart News’s John Binder noted in April that “four times as much fentanyl is flowing across the United States-Mexico border under President Joe Biden compared to two years prior when former President Trump was in office.”

Lombardo’s campaign said if he ousts vulnerable incumbent Steve Sisolak in November, he would add Nevada to the American Governors’ Border Strike Force, “which is an unprecedented partnership created by 26 Republican governors to target cartels and criminals seeking to take advantage of Biden’s border chaos.”

“As governor, Sheriff Lombardo is committed to reversing Sisolak’s disastrous soft-on-crime policies, which have undoubtedly contributed to the increase in fentanyl deaths in Nevada,” his campaign concluded.


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