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Milstead: More border security needed in Arizona after large fentanyl bust

Director or Arizona DPS Frank Milstead (Facebook Photo | AZWIN Arizona Women's Initiative Network)

PHOENIX — The top law enforcement official in Arizona is advocating for more border security, one day after agents said they captured nearly 254 pounds of fentanyl — the largest bust of its kind — coming through a port of entry.

Arizona Department of Public Safety head Col. Frank Milstead said the drugs that were confiscated in southern Arizona last weekend are “incredibly potent.”

“If you have a pill press and you can make pills the size of an aspirin, you need three salt grains of fentanyl to put into that pill to have enough to get you high,” he said in an interview with KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Bruce St. James and Pamela Hughes on Friday.

“The amount of drugs coming through southern Arizona right now are staggering.”

Milstead said while a physical barrier like a border wall would help combat the drug problem, it would not be the entire solution.

“(Physical barriers) work, and there’s all kinds of them, but there are also people who tunnel under them so you have to have people and cameras to watch those walls,” Milstead said.

In addition to enhanced law enforcement, Milstead said people have to be educated to stop them from becoming addicts before they get their hands on the drugs.

“If you go back to what has to happen, it’s not just enforcement. It’s about education, it’s about treatment,” Milstead said.

“If we don’t educate a couple generations of kids not to stick needles in their veins and insufflate white powder, we’re out of luck,” he added.

“This border security issue is not about elitism, it’s not about racism, it’s not about separatism, it’s about securing Arizona and keeping drugs out of Americans’ hands.”

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Bruce St. James & Pamela Hughes

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