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on the border line between the US and Mexico

Monday, November 22, 2021

How Smaller Doses Of More Powerful Drugs Allowed Mexican Cartels To Overwhelm Mexican Police And Flood The US

"Sol Prendido" for Borderland Beat

A Sinaloa state police officer at a clandestine lab producing synthetic drugs, mainly meth, in Sinaloa state, June 4, 2019. A record-setting bust in October underscores how Mexico has become a hub for fentanyl. The Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generational cartels have increased production of the drug, a powerful synthetic opioid analgesic. A flood of fentanyl into the US has helped drive overdose deaths to new levels.

Ciudad Juárez, México - In late October, Mexican authorities seized a record-breaking quantity of fentanyl at a single laboratory in the northwestern state of Sinaloa, landing a major blow to the Sinaloa Cartel, officials said.

But security analysts and cartel operatives say the bust was only proof of the "unstoppable" production of fentanyl in Mexico.

Mexican soldiers found 118 kilograms, or roughly 260 pounds, of fentanyl worth roughly $50 million in a lab on the outskirts of Culiacán, a city known for being Sinaloa's Cartel stronghold.

Mexican officials said the lab and warehouses seized in late October 2021 were used to store precursor chemicals used to make fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid analgesic similar to morphine but 50 to 100 times more potent, according to US authorities. Mexican drug cartels have relied on fentanyl more than any other drug to keep profits rising.

During the raid, authorities arrested Armando Bátiz Camarena, aka "El Inge," a known Sinaloa Cartel leader in charge of fentanyl production and shipment to the US, along with four of his men.

Authorities also seized four bags of fentanyl precursor in paste form, over 4 pounds of Inositol, a powder used as a cutting agent for drugs, five firearms, and more than $14,000 and 160 Venezuelan bolivars.

Although this was the biggest fentanyl bust in Mexico's history, it might not have any effect on the drug trade. It also may only be a sign of how Mexico is becoming the biggest player in fentanyl production.

"If Mexican authorities seized more than 100 kilograms, it means criminals are producing at least several tons," Manelich Castilla, former commissioner of Mexico's Federal Police, told Insider.

Fentanyl is easier to produce than cocaine or heroin since it requires just a few chemicals and some very rudimentary equipment, Castilla explained.

"It is very easily produced and 20 times more profitable than any other drug. You only need a very small dosage to create addiction," he said.

Manelich said that the fact that small doses of fentanyl could provide such intense effects means it's easier to smuggle.

"To transport fentanyl you don't need big shipments. Now you can hide a very profitable load inside a trailer container and it would be almost impossible to find," he said.

Mexico's defense secretary said earlier this year that fentanyl could be made in a few hours and was worth about $5,000 a kilogram in Mexico — a price that rises to about $200,000 in the US.

In a sign of the scale of production, US authorities intercepted 17,584 pounds of meth and 389 pounds of fentanyl in a tractor-trailer crossing into the US near San Diego on November 17. Both amounts would be the largest seizures of either drug in the US in 2020 or 2021, US officials said.

Potent product

A chemical specialist in a protective suit with pills seized at a clandestine lab processing fentanyl, in Mexico City, December 12, 2018. A Sinaloa Cartel operative in Culiacán who asked not to be identified told Insider that the busted lab was "very small" compared to production around Sinaloa.

"They busted one, and immediately some other 10 started operating not very far from that one," the operative said.

The operative said fentanyl labs operate on a "mobile basis."

"Some years ago the old bosses used to set established fentanyl labs inside warehouses or abandoned houses, but we learned that once they busted that lab, the loss was too much," the operative said. "So now we set up mobile labs in the middle of the woods and cook only small batches in several labs at the same time to build a big shipment."

On a trip to Sinaloa state in early 2021, Insider visited a fentanyl lab operated by the Sinaloa Cartel. One of the lab operators described how cooks are trained to mix fentanyl "according to US needs."

"The cook learned from a Chinese man brought all the way here" by the cartel, the operator told Insider, adding that the cook "is the only one who knows the recipe."

"But many started dying because we still didn't have the right recipe, and some of them were not aware of the potency of the new product," the operator added.

Mexican authorities examine a clandestine lab suspected of producing synthetic drugs, in Sinaloa state, August 2016.

According to Manelich, most of the precursors needed to make fentanyl come from "the Asia region" but not exclusively from China. Shipments arrive by sea "inside one of many, many cargo [containers] processed at the port" in Colima state on Mexico's Pacific coast.

A leaked 2019 DEA report called the Sinaloa cartel "a prominent producer and trafficker of Mexico-based fentanyl" into the US. The powerful Jalisco New Generation Cartel has also ramped up its production of fentanyl.

The US Treasury Department recently sanctioned four men it said were CJNG members "operating through the port of Manzanillo in Colima" to import fentanyl precursors and other drugs.

"It is impossible to search all these shipments arriving into Mexico. What we need is a list of priority targets to know by name who are we looking for, who is in charge of these operations," Manelich said.

Fentanyl seizures in Mexico have risen over the past year, according to Mexican officials. In 2020, authorities seized 1,300 kilograms of the drug, compared to 222 kilograms in 2019 — an uptick of more than 400%.

More than 30,000 people in the US died of overdoses involving fentanyl in 2018, making it one of the most dangerous illicit drugs in history. Fentanyl-related overdose deaths have pushed total overdose deaths in the US to new levels.

Manelich said the only way out is a "coordinated agenda regarding addictions and security."

"Today Mexico does not have a policy or a campaign to point out the traffickers and the producers. The present administration's vision is very limited when compared to how things are done in the US," Manelich said.

Business Insider


  1. The 2 super Cartels have flooded the USA with Fentanyl and Meth. China has hurt the USA more than the Soviet Union did during the entire Cold War ( no James Brown it was not about the weather ).

    One of the cartels biggest customer was a fellow with 20
    years of criminal history in one nostril he could snort more merca than 10 men with both nostrils .

    Floyd's toxicology report showed Fentanyl ,Meth,and other drugs in his system in addition he had heart disease, hypertension and sickle cell trait.
    But the narrative was that he was an innocent man who got killed by a police office.
    By the way Fentanyl Floyd pointed a loaded gun at a pregnant hispanic woman's stocmach ,as he and his crew brike into her house.

    1. Fent Floyd's had won the Lawsuit of 35,000 million US dollars. That is gross minis the 35%, the Black lawyer, that goes all over US chasing, police on Black situations. The family and the lawyer are rich.

    2. His own family set him up. They gave him the fake $20.00 bill, knowing he was a violent criminal and would resist arrest. His family knew he was dying from heart disease plus he was COVID19 positive .
      His family said we gonna get rich off drug junkie Floyd.

    3. Fentanyl Floyd would not have earned those millions in a thousand lifetimes. What a hero for the failed people’s. That’s who they pick? The COVID having fentanyl ODing leech should’ve still been in a Tessa prison for home invasion. Rapist Blake shot, thank God, by a legal cop they riot…rittenhouse kills, thank God, a prolific child rapist and BLM holds a sign with the child rapists face… Epstein with all his liberal buddies….Biden showering with his daughter….and on and on…get the picture? I’m not anti gay, but years ago they said if we let gays marry pretty soon u can marry a goat! They called that line of thinking crazy! Not too far away. Colorado gov just stopped using the word sex offender for convicted sexual perverts. Normalizing the raping of little kids.

    4. Da whitey E Coyote
      I will take 3 of your Raping tacos.

    5. Wtf is the matter with whitey, he writes wierd.

    6. @ whitey
      Your comments are biased and prejudice. Moreover, false and wrong like many who refuse the truth.

      What ignorance continues to spew from such morons.

    7. Thank you Mr Whitey for always stating facts and keeping it real.

    8. 2:25 35,000 Million did you say?🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 What a jackass you are to believe and spread that lie...35 billion dollars huh?
      You must mean pesos

  2. It's ok let it come into USA, it's killing the junkies thereby drug dealers lose regular customers.

    1. It’s still a loss of a humans life. If you were affected by it, you’d have a different opinion.

    2. I agree the junkies steal, rob in order to get thier daily drug habit. If they die less crime.

    3. Well that's a good way of doing population control. Prince took drugs laced with Fent. and the guy overdosed.

    4. Actually it’s not. It’s killing people that have their lives together, everyone does drugs these days. People think they’re percocets.

    5. 5:30 a junkie that uses drugs has his life together lol, I can't stop laughing.
      It's like saying Cienfuegos is innocent of all evidence the DEA has on him. Give me a break.

    6. 9:50 what? Are you actually retarded or something? Most people in casually experiment with drugs are not junkies or addicts or even close. Literally a fact. These people don’t know they’re taking fentanyl so your point is nonsensical.

    7. 9:50 Also is junky just the new slang term for youth or something? Because you're using that word incorrectly so I’m guessing English isn’t your first language? Most of these people are not addicts, I know you’re not that dumb.

    8. Wish population control contained Trump election loss supporters. Added with those political members who failed democracy for dictatorship.

    9. Junkie =\\= Recreational user

      Most people who take caffeine everyday are more so “junkies“ than people who occasionally take pills every now and then on a weekend.

    10. Junkie....A person addicted to drugs, habitual in need daily basis.

    11. 2:28 yeah.. so that definition obviously wouldn’t apply to most of these people who die now. Did you just come out of a time machine? Fentanyl is taking out way more people than just junkies. I thought this would be common knowledge at this point.

    12. You dont care if ppl die as long as drug dealers dont make money?You sound like a Very Sad person who needs someone special in their life.

    13. 4:19 go cry us a river, they fken told the definition of that and you still continue to harrass, best to ignore comments.

    14. 2:55 in case you didnt know hungry people also Rob and Steal..So when we finish with the druggies do we then kill off the hungry?Then move on to the Greedy and keep killing and killing? I hope your parents are not responsible for the way you think because if they are your whole family is Bozo

    15. 10:18 i LOVE that you have to suffer knowing your wish will NOT come true...Die slow from the racism/cancer in your heart.

  3. Cuidad Juarez Mexico El Paso. Por el rio asta el Golfo. Los grandes estados de todo el movimiento asta Mexicali. Todo en chemico pariente. Los elementos de tierra natural pa combinar. Menelenle plebes. Seya paquete chico oh grande. La reseta la tenemos.

  4. I had taken a break from BB and all violent news for a few months. My the comments have declined. Since when did this site allow racial hate speech and crazy conspiracy theories??? This site has amazing info, but with comments like on this article, it may turn some readers away.

    1. Preach. Say it again louder for the people in the back.

    2. Since Blame Whitey and Commanders Juan have arrived with free reign to change topic to BLM at will...Sol says if it bothers you and you speak out you are just weak and should go elsewhere.

    3. I am sorry you didn't like the comments, we are happy to refund your subscription.
      Have a nice day.

    4. 6:42 if a subscription was needed for BB i doubt you have to pasos to join.


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