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Houston DEA officers seized enough fentanyl in 2022 to kill entire city three times over

The Drug Enforcement Administration said the agency seized more than 7 million fentanyl doses in the Houston area in 2022.

Federal drug officials in Houston said Wednesday that more than 7 million fatal doses of fentanyl were seized in the region over the course of 2022. That's enough fentanyl to kill the entire city of Houston, the country's fourth-largest city, three times over, according to the latest U.S. census data.

The population of Houston as of April 2020 was 2,304,580. 

The Drug Enforcement Administration's Houston office said more than 670,000 fentanyl-laced, fake prescription pills and more than 230 pounds of fentanyl powder this year were taken this year. The DEA Laboratory estimates the seizures represent more than 7 million potentially deadly doses of fentanyl.


"These seizures are a testament to the imminent threat the Sinaloa and Jalisco (CJNG) Cartels continue to pose and our relentless determination to go after anyone that brings this poison to our cherished communities," said Daniel C. Comeaux, DEA Special Agent in Charge of the Houston Field Division.

In a new release, the DEA said fentanyl is the deadliest drug threat to the United States. Just two milligrams, an amount that fits on the tip of a pencil, can be fatal, the agency said. 

It said most of the fentanyl coming into the U.S. is mass-produced by the Sinaloa and Jalisco New General (CJNG) cartels at secret factories in Mexico with chemicals sourced largely from China.

Fentanyl seizures at the border spiked in 2022 with multiple busts setting different records throughout the year.

Many pills are made to look like legitimate prescription drugs like OxyContin, Percocet, and Xanax but only contain filler and fentanyl. Many of the fake pills can be purchased through social media, authorities said. 

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