The Six Largest Fentanyl Busts in the USA

police unifor close up.

The amount of Fentanyl the U.S. Customs and Border Protection seizures every year keeps growing.

Only in 2019, the seizure of Fentanyl increased by 30%, which means a total of 2,770 pounds has been found by the authorities ever since the seizures started.

Over the years, the six largest Fentanyl busts lead to the seizure of around 818 pounds of Fentanyl, which, according to the authorities, were enough to kill 229 million people in America.

This number tells us how dangerous this substance can be, but what is it exactly?

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid painkiller that can easily create addiction. It comes from China, and it’s usually smuggled into the USA through Mexico.

Only over the last few years, Fentanyl has led to tens of thousands of deaths, and the number keeps growing.

If you want to know more about this substance, you can find a Fentanyl overview on the NIDA page.

Let’s now talk about where and how the six largest Fentanyl busts happened.

Nogales, Arizona

It was January of last year when a drug bust led to seizing 254 pounds of Fentanyl in Arizona, the largest amount ever found by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. A Border Patrol K-9 successfully led the authorities to investigate an 18-wheeler coming from Mexico, which contained $3.5 million worth of Fentanyl, more than enough to kill 115 million people.

Queens, New York City

Following the raid of an apartment in Kew Gardens, in August 2017 Federal Agents managed to seize 140 pounds of Fentanyl which could have killed 32 million people, according to the authorities.

Kearney, Nebraska

In April 2018, A Nebraska State Trooper stopped a suspicious tractor-trailer on which the authorities then found 118 pounds of Fentanyl, worth $20 million. This amount could have been enough to kill 26 million people, however, charges against the two men found in the trucks are still pending. 

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

In June 2018, agents seized 110 pounds of Fentanyl at the port of Philadelphia, hid in a ship coming from China. It was worth $1.7 million and enough to kill 24 million people.

North Bergen and Willingboro, New Jersey

In June 2017, an amount of 99 pounds of Fentanyl enough to kill 18 million people was discovered by the police during the observation of a drug transaction in a public parking lot. The drug was being transferred from a truck to a Mercedes-Benz.

San Diego County, California

In November 2016, DEA agents found and seized 33 pounds of Fentanyl after stopping a rented vehicle. After arresting the driver, Anna Baker, the authorities searched her home, seizing 64 additional pounds of Fentanyl for a total of 97 pounds, enough to kill 14 million people. Three people, including Baker, were sentenced to prison following this bust.

These were the six largest successful Fentanyl busts carried out in the US. However, the numbers show that the amount of Fentanyl, often abused by herion addicts, smuggled into the US keeps increasing. This substance further fuels the opioid crisis, which is responsible for killing thousands of people every year.


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