ARIZONA NEWS

During Arizona visit, Mayorkas touts efforts to combat fentanyl smuggling

Mar 22, 2023, 10:15 AM | Updated: 10:28 am

(Twitter Photo/@GovernorHobbs)...

(Twitter Photo/@GovernorHobbs)

(Twitter Photo/@GovernorHobbs)

PHOENIX — Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas said Tuesday while at the Arizona border that a new operation designed to fight the smuggling of fentanyl into the U.S. is already working.

“In its first week, Operation Blue Lotus has already resulted in 18 seizures, 16 federal arrests and two state arrests, and stopped more than 900 pounds of fentanyl, over 700 pounds of methamphetamine and over 100 pounds of cocaine from entering the United States,” Mayorkas said during a press conference in Nogales.

The announcement followed Mayorkas’ tour of the Mariposa Port of Entry with Gov. Katie Hobbs. New nonintrusive scanning equipment was recently installed in an effort to boost cargo screening capacity, DHS said in a press release.

The surge operation launched March 13 and will increase targeted inspections conducted by Customs and Border Protection officers, Border Patrol agents, Homeland Security Investigations, drug-sniffing dogs and other advanced technology.

Funding for the non-intrusive scanning inspection systems comes from a $305 million allotment approved to CBP for border technology in 2024, the release said.

“Operation Blue Lotus is a DHS-led coordinated surge effort to curtail the flow of illicit fentanyl smuggled into the United from Mexico and bring to justice the dangerous criminal organizations profiting from the illegal production, distribution and sale of this dangerous substance,” Mayorkas said.

“In addition to more arrests, the ultimate goal is to dismantle the larger criminal networks,” he said.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Howard Lamar Johnson was sentenced to 20 years in prison after he injured a state trooper in a shoo...

KTAR.com

Man sentenced to 20 years in prison for shooting trooper in Phoenix

A man was sentenced to 20 years in prison after he injured a state trooper in a shooting last year, authorities announced Wednesday.

45 minutes ago

Two people are dead after East Valley collision, according to police...

Serena O'Sullivan

Two-vehicle collision in Chandler leaves 2 drivers dead, police say

The Chandler Police Department said two people are dead after a collision that took place on Tuesday night.

2 hours ago

Former Gov. Jan Brewer calls on GOP to restore faith in elections...

Serena O'Sullivan

Former Gov. Jan Brewer asks Republicans to quit saying Arizona’s elections are insecure

In an op-ed in The Arizona Republic, former Gov. Jan Brewer urged her fellow Republicans to restore faith in the electoral system.

2 hours ago

Chandler approved agreements with Recovery Café Arizona and EMPACT-Suicide Prevention Center to pr...

KTAR.com

Chandler approves partnerships with nonprofits for opioid treatment, prevention services

The Recovery Café and EMPACT-Suicide Prevention Center (EMPACT-SPC) will each receive $50,000 in opioid treatments and prevention services from the city of Chandler.

5 hours ago

Arizona Department of Public Safety troopers seized over 100 pounds of illegal drugs in two separat...

KTAR.com

AZDPS troopers seize over 138 pounds of illegal drugs in southern Arizona

The Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) seized approximately 138.6 pounds of illegal drugs in two separate incidents in southern Arizona.

5 hours ago

The Arizona Legislature finalized the state budget and adjourned June 15, just in time to prevent t...

Sahara Sajjadi /Cronkite News

Arizona Legislature adjourns just in time to prevent repealed 1864 abortion ban from taking effect

A Civil War-era abortion ban repealed in May would have become enforceable on Sept. 26 – temporarily – if the Legislature didn’t adjourn in time.

6 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

During Arizona visit, Mayorkas touts efforts to combat fentanyl smuggling