LOS ANGELES - The Drug Enforcement Administration seized over 50.6 million fentanyl-laced, fake prescription pills and more than 10,000 pounds of fentanyl powder during the 2022 year, officials announced Wednesday.
According to the DEA Laboratory, the seizure represents more than 379 million potentially deadly doses of fentanyl.
Fentanyl is one of the deadliest drugs.
"It is a highly addictive man-made opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin. Just two milligrams of fentanyl, the small amount that fits on the tip of a pencil, is considered a potentially deadly dose," a statement from the DEA read.
"These seizures – enough deadly doses of fentanyl to kill every American – reflect DEA’s unwavering commitment to protect Americans and save lives, by tenaciously pursuing those responsible for the trafficking of fentanyl across the United States," said Administrator Anne Milgram.
The DEA also seized nearly 131,000 pounds of methamphetamine, more than 4,300 pounds of heroin, and over 444,000 pounds of cocaine.
In Los Angeles alone, DEA Field Division seized over seven million fentanyl pills and more than 1,000 pounds of fentanyl powder in 2022.
"The DEA Laboratory estimates that these seizures represent more than 38 million potentially deadly doses of fentanyl, which could be enough to kill the entire population in the seven largest counties in Southern California—Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara," the DEA stated.
The amount seized in LA during 2022 is double that from 2021. DEA Los Angeles also seized over 4,000 pounds of cocaine, 16,000 pounds of methamphetamine and 337 pounds of heroin.
"Los Angeles is a major transshipment hub for fentanyl and other drugs and we continue to see massive amounts of addictive drugs flooding our neighborhoods. These seizures represent our tenacious efforts to make our communities safer and our ongoing commitment to save lives," said DEA Los Angeles Special Agent in Charge Bill Bodner.
The DEA says fentanyl is primarily brought into the US from Mexico through drug cartels. They are primarily sold on social media and advertised as prescription medications such as OxyContin, Percocet, and Xanax. The fake prescription pills only contain filler and fentanyl, according to the DEA.