Mexican Authorities Raid Pharmacies in Popular Tourist Destinations for Fentanyl-Laced Pills
An investigation by the Times earlier this year revealed that pharmacies in northwest Mexico, including Cabo San Lucas and Tijuana, were selling pills that appeared to be Adderall, Xanax, and Oxycodone, but were actually laced with fentanyl.
For my first story @latimes, I went to Mexico and got drugs.
Specifically, @ConnorASheets and I went to pharmacies, got pills & tested them.
Turns out, some are selling oxy & Adderall over the counter – but the pills are actually fentanyl & meth. https://t.co/zDmaCVJ5K6
— Keri Blakinger (@keribla) February 2, 2023
As a result of the recent operation, authorities seized approximately 25,000 pills containing unauthorized controlled substances, but no fentanyl or methamphetamine, according to Alejandro Torres Pineda, a delegate of the attorney general’s office in Baja California Sur, as reported by the Times.
“We’re continuing the investigations,” Pineda said in a phone interview with the Times last week.
He emphasized the importance of these seizures, stating that they help inhibit the sale of controlled medicines, protect the health of citizens, and ensure the regulation of medications sold in pharmacies.
Prior to the raids, federal authorities in Mexico interviewed individuals at various pharmacies in Los Cabos and discovered a customer with unregulated pills, leading to the subsequent permission granted by a judge to conduct the raids at five different locations in June.
According to the Times, these raids resulted in the confiscation of thousands of dollars in cash and the arrests of three pharmacy employees and one business owner.
“In terms of security, the work coordinated by three levels of government is yielding good results, with the aim of guaranteeing the safety of locals and visitors,” said Jesús Antonio Gómez Rodríguez, the municipal director of public safety in Los Cabos, as reported by the Times.
“It’s protecting the health of our young people who can fall into the clutches of drugs, as well as the numerous groups of visitors who come to our municipality to enjoy its natural beauties and tourist services,” Rodríguez added.
The Danger of Illicit Fentanyl
Illicit fentanyl is largely responsible for the more than 100,000 overdose deaths in the U.S. in 2021.
According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, this synthetic drug is primarily produced by cartels in Mexico using precursor chemicals from China.
Mary Harrell, whose son tragically died after taking a fentanyl-laced pill from a pharmacy in Cabo San Lucas, expressed her desire for more serious and timely actions from Mexico.
“It’s not going to stop,” Harrell said.
“If it were a real cleanup, you’d have the president going after it — but you don’t,” she added.
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