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Officials: Louisville officers seized over 50,000 lethal doses of fentanyl

The shipment was arriving from India and headed toward a residence in Ontario, Canada when officers detained it.
Credit: AP
FILE - A reporter holds up an example of the amount of fentanyl that can be deadly after a news conference about deaths from fentanyl exposure, at DEA Headquarters in Arlington, Va., June 6, 2017. Los Angeles police say three men were found dead of suspected drug overdoses involving fentanyl. On Wednesday, May 4, 2022, officers found the dead men inside an apartment after police received a call about three unresponsive men late Wednesday. CBSLA-TV reported that a powdery drug believed to be fentanyl was found in the apartment, along with drug paraphernalia. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Louisville U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers seized a shipment of fentanyl on Thursday that officials say could have been used to kill more than 50,000 people. 

CBP says the shipment was arriving from India, where it was manifested as medicine, and headed toward a residence in Brampton, Ontario, Canada, but officers detained it as it made its way through Louisville.

Officers found five pill bottles when they opened the package. Officials say the bottle would have a street value of $15,000.

"Even though this shipment may seem like a very small amount, remember two milligrams of this stuff is lethal," said Thomas Mann, Louisville port director. 

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that activates the opioid receptors in the brain. This creates an analgesic and euphoric effect. In comparison to other opioid medications, most types of fentanyl are very powerful.  

Not only is fentanyl a dangerous narcotic to use, it's a very toxic substance to handle. This forces officers to stay on high alert. 

“This narcotic is not only dangerous to the user, but also very dangerous to our officers,” said LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, director of Field Operations-Chicago Field Office. “Our officers take every precaution with every shipment they inspect, and we are very relieved no one was seriously injured during this seizure.”

CBP regularly screens arriving international passengers and cargo for restricted or prohibited items. 


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