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DEA Launches Project Wave Breaker to

        Stop Flood of Deadly Fentanyl

        New initiative focuses on stemming the tide of synthetic fentanyl

        flowing into the United States

        EL PASO – Today the Drug Enforcement  a potential life saved.”              • A  kilogram  of  fentanyl  can  contain
        Administration announced a new initia-                                       500,000 potentially lethal doses.  Last
        tive, Project Wave Breaker, to disrupt the   The  eleven  divisions  participating  in   year, the eleven divisions participat-
        flow of deadly fentanyl into the United   Project Wave Breaker are credited with   ing in Project Wave Breaker seized a
        States.                              85 percent of all synthetic opioids seized   combined total of 2,316 kilograms of
                                             by  the  DEA  in  2020.    They  include:   fentanyl (more than a billion poten-
        Project  Wave Breaker will direct inter-  Phoenix,  New  York,  San  Diego,  New   tially lethal doses).
        diction, enforcement, and outreach ef-  England, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit,
        forts to the El Paso Division to disrupt the  St. Louis, San Francisco, Houston, and   • The  seizure  of  fentanyl-laced  pills
        flow of fentanyl in and around the United  El Paso.                          along the Southwest border increased
        States.   The  initiative  will  also  employ                                more  than  89  percent  from  January
        analytical intelligence assets to target the   Mexican cartels, particularly the Sinaloa   2019 to December 2020.
        activities of Mexican transnational crim-  Cartel, have capitalized on the opioid ep-
        inal organizations, which are the primary   idemic and prescription drug misuse and  Project Wave Breaker aims to reduce the
        suppliers and distributors of illicit fentan-  abuse in the United States, flooding com-  amount  of  fentanyl  coming  across  the
        yl and fentanyl substances throughout the   munities with illicit  fentanyl  and  driv-  Southwest border, reduce crime and vi-
        United States.                       ing the record-setting rates of overdose  olence associated with drug trafficking,
                                             deaths.  According to the most recently  and ultimately save lives by reducing the
        “While a major entry point for fentanyl  published  CDC  provisional  data,  more  demand for illicit fentanyl.
        is  the  Southwest  border,  the  cartels  are  than  87,200  people  died  from  an  over-
        spreading  their  poison  into  communi-  dose last year, marking the largest num-  For resources and additional
        ties  across  the  Nation,”  said  DEA Act-  ber of overdose deaths ever recorded in a   information on fentanyl and other
        ing Administrator D. Christopher Evans.  12-month period.  Deaths involving syn-  illicit drugs, visit
        “Through this initiative, we’re tackling a  thetic opioids increased nearly 60 percent   visions/facts-about-fentanyl.
        very real public health, public safety, and  during the same 12-month period ending
        national  security  threat,  identifying  the  September 1, 2020.         DEA Launches Project Wave
        most  egregious  street-level  networks  in                               Breaker to Stop Flood of Dead-
        our  communities  and  working  our  way   Facts about fentanyl:          ly Fentanyl. DEA. (n.d.). https://
        up through the supply chain.”          • Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is
        “The lethal dose of fentanyl is 2.2 milli-  approximately 50 times more potent   project-wave-breaker-stop-flood-
        grams, and the average amount of fentan-  than heroin and 100 times more po-  deadly-fentanyl-3.
        yl in the pills we seize is 1.8 milligrams,”   tent that morphine.
        said Kyle W. Williamson, Special Agent   • Of counterfeit pills tested in DEA lab-  April 27, 2021
        in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Ad-   oratories, one in four pills made with   Contact: Carlos A. Briano
        ministration’s El Paso Division. “There   fentanyl contained a potentially lethal   Phone Number: (915) 832-6000
        isn’t much room for error. Every pill we   dose.                          FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
        seize from these profit-seeking cartels is

                                                                JUNE 2021 NARCOTIC OFFICERS MAGAZINE™  —  9
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