Arizona sheriff blames China and Mexican drug cartels for epidemic of fentanyl overdose deaths

Drug overdose deaths in the United States, particularly involving synthetic opioids like fentanyl, have skyrocketed over the past couple of years, and though there are numerous factors behind that tragic reality, a sheriff in Arizona believes a certain foreign government and transnational organizations deserve much of the blame.

Arizona’s Pinal County Sheriff Mark Lamb recently asserted that the communist Chinese regime was working cooperatively with the Mexican drug cartels to flood American communities with exceptionally dangerous fentanyl, Breitbart reported.

The sheriff, however, also suggested that President Joe Biden’s administration shouldered some of the blame due to its decidedly lax enforcement policies that allowed massive and unprecedented levels of illicit cross-border trafficking involving humans, drugs, and other contraband.

Sheriff says China and cartels are working together

“Centuries ago, there were the Opium Wars that literally almost brought a dynasty to its knees, and I think that China is now exacting that same fate on the West [and] on America,” Sheriff Lamb told Breitbart News Daily on Wednesday.

“They’re bringing in the majority of the precursors that it takes to create the fentanyl,” he continued. “They give it to the cartels in Mexico, and then Mexico is producing the product that they’re transporting into Arizona and into America.”

The sheriff noted that cross-border smuggling had been manageable up through 2020, but, “That all changed in 2021, and you can put the pieces of the puzzle together, but overnight, the communication lines stopped and the flow of humans and drugs into this country started going out of control. The train was off the tracks.”

Overdose deaths surging

Drug overdose deaths, particularly involving fentanyl, have soared since the onset of the pandemic in early 2020, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, with the overall number of overdose-related deaths for that year estimated to have surged from around 70,630 in 2019 to 91,799 in 2020, with more than 60 percent of those deaths, around 56,516, being attributed to synthetic opioids, primarily fentanyl.

That number has since increased to an estimated 108,769 in 2021, Breitbart noted, and is anticipated to climb even further once the data for 2022 is compiled at the end of the year. And that is a big problem in the view of Drug Enforcement Administration head Anne Milgram.

“Fentanyl is the single deadliest drug threat our nation has ever encountered. Fentanyl is everywhere,” Milgram said. “From large metropolitan areas to rural America, no community is safe from this poison. We must take every opportunity to spread the word to prevent fentanyl-related overdose death and poisonings from claiming scores of American lives every day.”

Congress takes notice of cooperation between China and drug cartels

As for Sheriff Lamb pointing a finger at China and the Mexican drug cartels for the massive and worsening fentanyl overdose epidemic, he is not alone in doing so, as the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service issued a report in July that made similar assertions.

The report noted that up until a 2019 crackdown by the Chinese government, virtually all fentanyl and “related substances” came to the U.S. directly from the so-called People’s Republic of China. Since then, “Mexican transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) are largely responsible for the production of U.S.-consumed illicit fentanyl, using PRC-sourced primary materials, including precursor chemicals that are legal to produce and export in China.”

“According to DEA assessments cited by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission, Chinese traffickers and money launderers appear to have increased cooperation with Mexican cartels,” the report added, confirming that the Chinese and drug cartels are working together to produce and distribute a dangerous poison that is killing tens of thousands of Americans every year.

Latest News