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Fentanyl seizures rise sharply downstate

The DEA Division that overseas the southern Illinois area reported a 230% increase in deadly fentanyl seizures in 2021 over 2020, and a 175% increase over the amounts seized in 2019.

Lethal doses of both drugs, Heroin and Fentanyl, are displayed for comparison. | Photo: New Hampshire State Police Forensic Lab

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The Drug Enforcement Administration division that includes Missouri, Kansas and southern Illinois seized more of the dangerous drug fentanyl last year than in the two previous years combined.



The DEA's St. Louis Division said Tuesday that agents and task force officers seized 188 kilograms of fentanyl last year, compared to 82 kilograms in 2020 and 104 kilograms in 2019. Investigators also seized a record 1,848 kilograms of methamphetamine — an all-time high — and 73 kilograms of heroin.

In addition, a news release said agents in the St. Louis division seized 347 weapons and stopped $15.8 million from reaching drug organization leaders.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid used to treat pain in pharmaceutical settings. The DEA said it is 50 times more potent than heroin.


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