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Archive for June 30th, 2021

Drug Cartels Are Smuggling Alarming Amounts of Fentanyl into the U.S.

Fentanyl found stuffed inside burritos in April. Photo: CBP.

By Steve Neavling

Fentanyl is becoming the drug of choice for cartels. 

In the past three years, fentanyl seizures have risen an astounding 4,000%, Border Patrol agents tell NBC News.

But most of the fentanyl isn’t turning up at ports of entry, where seizures are typically made. It’s found in the desert, where smugglers are taking advantage of limited federal resources.

Between 2018 and 2020, 12 pounds of fentanyl were found outside of ports of entry. By contrast, agents seized 41 pounds outside of ports of entry during 2021 fiscal year alone. 

To put that into perspective, a lethal dose of fentanyl is two milligrams. A single kilogram can kill up to 500,000 people. 

Because of its potency, a small amount of fentanyl can go a long way, making it easier to smuggle into the U.S., and it’s very profitable. 

“For the first time, we’re starting to see these tactics where fentanyl is being smuggled between ports of entry,” Chief Border Patrol Agent Gloria Chavez told NBC News. “Cartels are very creative. They find ways to intimidate migrants and find ways to illegally have them transport that narcotic into the United States.”

Deputy U.S. Marshal Won’t Be Charged for Fatally Shooting Suspect in North Carolina

By Steve Neavling

A deputy U.S. Marshal who fatally shot a man at a Charlotte, N.C., gas station in March won’t be charged, a district attorney said Tuesday. 

Eric Tillman, a senior inspector with the U.S. Marshals Service, was trying to serve multiple warrants at a gas station when he fired three rounds at Frankie Jennings, The Charlotte Observer reports.

In a letter to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg police chief, Mecklenburg County District Attorney Spencer Merriweather III said a struggle had ensued between Tillman and Jennings at the driver’s side door of Jennings’ black Mercedes. After Jennings put the car in gear, causing the vehicle to move forward, Jennings’ “hands reaching toward a gun in the center console cupholder,” prompting Tillman to fire three shots at him. 

Jennings died at the scene, and a loaded handgun was found in his car’s center console, Merriweather wrote. 

“Given the corroborated evidence that Senior Inspector Tillman was reasonable in his belief that he and other officers faced an imminent threat of great bodily harm or death, the evidence in this case would be insufficient to prove to a jury beyond a reasonable doubt that Senior Inspector Tillman did not act in defense of himself or another,” Merriweather wrote.

“Consequently, I will not be seeking charges related to the death of Frankie Jennings.”

Jennings had a total of 16 warrants from three different cities.