One of the least-discussed reasons why President Donald J. Trump’s proposed border wall is so needed is because it will help reduce the amount of highly potent, deadly drugs flowing into the country. While no one seriously believes that a wall can stop all drugs flowing into the country, a nearly-impenetrable border-length barrier would certainly help.
Over the weekend a story broke that brings the border wall issue and the problem of dangerous drug proliferation front and center; hopefully, it will be impactful enough to move this debate forward and take all the “controversy” out of the Trump wall discussion.
As reported by several outlets including the UK’s Daily Mail, police in Boston seized more than 33 pounds of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is 80 times stronger than morphine and which is so deadly that it could literally kill every single person in the state of Massachusetts (I’ll save you the trouble of looking it up — that’s about 6.8 million).
Police rounded up dozens of suspects belonging to a gang that was selling the potent drug on the streets of Bean Town. But here’s the “wall” link: The gang has ties to the notorious (and deadly) Sinaloa Cartel, the very same one that was once led by equally notorious Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman.
Included in the drug bust, which followed a six-month investigation including electronic surveillance, were another 30-odd pounds of other drugs including heroin, cocaine, and opiate tablets, along with $300,000 in drug money. Thirty-seven suspects were arrested as well including gang leader Robert Contreras, who is believed to have direct ties to the Sinaloa cartel; it’s not yet clear if any of them were in the country illegally, but I’d bet a day’s pay that some of them were.
And Mexican leaders want to lecture Trump on the ‘absurdity’ of his border wall. (Related: Synthetic opioids hit the streets, causing deadly side effects.)
“I want to be clear about the size and scope here,” said District Attorney Daniel Conley, the Daily Mail reported. “Massachusetts’ fentanyl trafficking statute covers quantities greater than 10 grams. That threshold represents less than 1/1000th of the quantity we’ve taken off the street.
“Individuals who buy and sell at this level aren’t users,” he continued. “They’re not small-time dealers, either. They’re certainly not selling to support a habit. They’re trafficking in addictive substances that claim more lives in Massachusetts than all homicides, all suicides, and all car crashes, statewide, combined.”
He added that the number of overdoses that could have been caused by the amount of fentanyl seized “is truly staggering.”
“You take a sweetener packet that has 1,000 milligrams in it that you put in a cup of coffee,” said DEA special agent in charge of the New England Division Michael J. Ferguson. “It takes only two milligrams [of fentanyl] and it’s lights out for an individual.
“We’re talking a couple of grains of salt or sand,” he continued. “It can kill you if you inject it into your arm, if you snort it up your nose or simply breath it in the air. Drug traffickers are now lacing fentanyl not just with heroin, but with cocaine as well. As well as in pain pills, counterfeit pain pills made to look like Percocet.”
In other words, this stuff is not just deadly, but it’s being sold specifically to kill, and that’s just what it does.
So Trump’s border wall isn’t just a talking point anymore. It’s a national security imperative (or it ought to be). Because if the supply of fentanyl that Boston cops just captured had been added to, say, the water system in Boston and throughout the state, perhaps as a form of terrorism, there’d be a lot of fresh graves in one of our 13 original states.