DEA St. Louis Division Breaks Fentanyl Seizure Record
More Than 670 pounds Seized; 41% Increase Over 2021
ST. LOUIS – The Drug Enforcement Administration St. Louis Division broke its fentanyl seizure record in fiscal year 2022 with more than 671 pounds of the deadly opioid seized through Missouri, Kansas and southern Illinois. That’s a 41% increase over the 396 pounds seized in the last fiscal year, and more fentanyl seized than the last two years combined.
Among the seizures was a record 20,000 fake pills seized in partnership with St. Louis County Police Department, and the first colored fake pills DEA has seized. The latter were seized in Kansas. The colored fentanyl has been also seized in powder form throughout the division.
The increase of 41% in fentanyl seizures aligns with the continued increase since the synthetic opioid was first seized by the division in 2017:
FY 2022 – 671 pounds
FY 2021 – 396 pounds
FY 2020 – 180 pounds
FY 2019 – 227 pounds
FY 2018 – 77 pounds
“Looking at this staggering increase in seizures, there is no question that DEA and its local, state and federal partners have stepped up our efforts to stop fentanyl from reaching our communities,” said Special Agent in Charge Michael A. Davis. “Unfortunately, the drugs pouring into the Midwest in multiple forms is also a sign that drug trafficking organizations will go to any length to profit from the misery of our citizens. We’ll continue to take down these criminal networks and put out the message that what they’re selling kills.”
In addition, agents and task force officers seized 3,203 pounds of methamphetamine and 57 pounds of heroin. Investigators also seized 503 weapons.
Topping off the St. Louis Division’s statistics for 2022 were its efforts to curtail money laundering by drug trafficking organizations, seizing and stopping $13.7 million from reaching criminal organization leaders.
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, is used for pain management in a medical setting and is 50 times more potent than heroin. Drug cartels have been attempting to distribute illicit fentanyl in record amounts, leading to an alarming increase in deaths caused by illicit drugs.