California seizes record 62,000 pounds of fentanyl

A homeless man, 24, smokes fentanyl on March 12, 2022 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Tuesday that operations supported by the California National Guard have resulted in the record seizure of 62,224 pounds of fentanyl in 2023, valued at about $649 million. 

"Fentanyl is a poison, and it does not belong in our communities. California is cracking down – increasing seizures, expanding access to substance abuse treatment, and holding drug traffickers accountable to combat the immeasurable harm opioids have caused our communities," Newsom said in a statement.

How the fentanyl was discovered and confiscated was not spelled out in detail. 

Last year, Newsom increased the number of CalGuard service members deployed to interdict drugs at U.S. ports of entry along the border by approximately 50%. 

The seizures have steadily been increasing in California, as have the drug's street value. 

In 2021, California seized about 5,330 pounds of fentanyl valued at $64 million and in 2022, about 29,000 pounds were seized, valued at $230 million. 

The amount of fentanyl seized in California in 2023 is enough to potentially kill the global population nearly twice over. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, a lethal dose of fentanyl is 2 mg.