ST. LOUIS, Mo. — Millions of deadly fentanyl pills have been taken off the street as a result of a federal investigation.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has announced the results of a year-long operation targeting people affiliated with the Sinaloa and Jalisco Cartels based in Mexico.
“Operation Last Mile” included 1,436 investigations across the U.S. from May 1, 2022 through May 1, 2023. During the investigation, federal, state and local law enforcement seized 44 million fentanyl pills, more than 6,500 pounds of fentanyl powder and more than 91,000 pounds of methamphetamine.
According to agents, the volume of fentanyl pills and powder seized equates to roughly 193 million fatal doses of fentanyl.
The operation also resulted in 3,337 arrests, as well as the seizure of 8,497 firearms and more than $100 million.
“The Sinaloa and Jalisco Cartels use multi-city distribution networks, violent local street gangs, and individual dealers across the United States to flood American communities with fentanyl and methamphetamine, drive addiction, fuel violence, and kill Americans,” DEA Administrator Anne Milgram said in a release.
“What is also alarming—American social media platforms are the means by which they do so. The Cartels use social media and encrypted platforms to run their operations and reach out to victims, and when their product kills Americans, they simply move on to try to victimize the millions of other Americans who are social media users,” Milgram said.
DEA officials say more than 1,100 cases investigated through Operations Last Mile involved social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, Wire, and Wickr.