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Fentanyl seizures rise sharply in three-state area

Bags of heroin, some laced with fentanyl, picked up in a 2016 New York City drug bust. "Basically, [fentanyl] is so cheap to produce and it's so powerful, that drug dealers began realizing it was a way to increase their profits," <em>Fentanyl, Inc. </em>author Ben Westhoff says. But miscalculations of the amount used can be deadly.
Drew Angerer
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Bags of heroin, some laced with fentanyl, picked up in a 2016 New York City drug bust. "Basically, [fentanyl] is so cheap to produce and it's so powerful, that drug dealers began realizing it was a way to increase their profits," Fentanyl, Inc. author Ben Westhoff says. But miscalculations of the amount used can be deadly.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Drug Enforcement Administration division that includes Missouri, Kansas and southern Illinois seized more of the dangerous drug fentanyl last year than in the two previous years combined.

The DEA’s St. Louis Division said Tuesday that agents and task force officers seized 188 kilograms of fentanyl last year, compared to 82 kilograms in 2020 and 104 kilograms in 2019. Investigators also seized a record 1,848 kilograms of methamphetamine — an all-time high — and 73 kilograms of heroin.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid used to treat pain in pharmaceutical settings. The DEA says it is 50 times more potent than heroin.