Texas authorities bust fentanyl lab in Houston disguised as car rental
Authorities in Texas have busted a suspected fentanyl lab in Houston which was disguised as a car rental, and which law enforcement believe is linked to Mexican cartels seeking to expand their reach into the U.S.
Texas Department of Public Safety raided the building on Jan 30th, finding pill press machines, more than 17lbs of possible fentanyl precursors from China, over 1 kilogram of suspected counterfeit Xanax pills laced with fentanyl and 0.3 lbs fentanyl-laced Oxycodone.
Authorities also found cocaine, ecstasy, methamphetamine pills, a stolen vehicle, three pistols and a rifle.
Law enforcement arrested four men on an array of offenses including felony evading in a motor vehicle and the manufacturing and distribution of fentanyl. Fox News has learned that all four are out on bail as of Wednesday morning.
The U.S. has been grappling with an opioid crisis for year, much of which is down to fentanyl. Officials have said that of the 108,000 overdose deaths in 2021, more than 80,000 were linked with opioids like fentanyl — which can be deadly in tiny doses, and is often cut into other drugs, so people don’t know that the drugs they are taking contain it.
Fentanyl is primarily made in Mexico using Chinese precursors and smuggled across the land border. Authorities told Fox this week that the case is an example of how drug cartels in Mexico are seeking to expand drug distribution throughout the state of Texas and the U.S. by moving production to U.S. soil.
Fentanyl seizures have shot up at ports of entry in the last few years, which officials cite as a success due to the drug being apprehended rather than allowed into the U.S. More than 14,000 lbs were seized at the southern border in FY 2022 after more than 10,000 in FY 2021. But it has raised concerns from Republicans about how much is getting past officials at the border both at and between the ports.
President Biden mentioned the fentanyl crisis at the border in his State of the Union address on Tuesday evening.
‘Fentanyl is killing more than 70,000 Americans a year. Let’s launch a major surge to stop fentanyl production, sale, and trafficking, with more drug detection machines to inspect cargo and stop pills and powder at the border,’ Biden said, before calling for cooperation with couriers and increased trafficking penalties.
The mention of fentanyl led to Republicans yelling, ‘It’s your fault’ and renewed calls from some Republicans to ‘secure the border.’