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15,000 Fentanyl Pills Seized in North Texas Bust

Crime

Police arrested 11 people, seized 15,000 fentanyl pills and 11 weapons in North Texas. | Image by Tarrant County Sheriff's Office

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The Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office (TCSO) announced last Monday that over 15,000 fentanyl pills were seized and 11 arrests were made in a North Texas-wide drug bust, according to WFAA.

The bust was a joint operation between the TCSO, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Texas Department of Public Safety, Dallas Police Department, Flower Mound Police Department, and the Rockwall County Sheriff’s Office.

The agencies served multiple federal search warrants across North Texas.

In addition to the pills and arrests, TCSO said 11 weapons were seized. Two suspects were charged with distributing fentanyl which resulted in death.

Federal agencies have made efforts in the last year to slow the increase in fentanyl overdose deaths. Last year, the Department of Justice and DEA announced they had seized 1.8 million counterfeit prescription pills and made 810 arrests nationwide within two months.

Some North Texans are even taking matters into their own hands.

Local mother Patricia Saldivar had a billboard put up near AT&T Stadium in Arlington in October after her 22-year-old daughter took a laced pill and died earlier in 2021.

The billboard reads “1 pill that’s all it took,” followed by “Fentanyl kills,” and a dedication to her daughter Cassandra.

“She took a Percocet, and it was laced with fentanyl … and that took her life,” Saldivar told WFAA.

As reported in The Dallas Express, the country has seen a rise in overdose deaths in recent years, with data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) indicating a 15% increase in 2021 over 2020, a year that itself clocked a 30% increase over 2019.

Some researchers attribute these figures partly to the growth of fentanyl in the illicit drug market.

Dr. Nora Volkow, director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse, commented on the phenomenon to NPR.

“These past three years, we have seen an increase of contamination of other illicit drugs with fentanyl,” she said, “be it cocaine, be [it] methamphetamine, and more recently, illicit prescription drugs.”

Volkow added, “In many instances, these may be people that take just one pill and they get that contaminated pill, and they can die.”

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