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DEA promises relentless assault on fentanyl dealers

DEA promises relentless assault on fentanyl dealers
DEA promises relentless assault on fentanyl dealers 02:18

MIAMI - Drug Enforcement Administration Miami's special agent in charge said her division is targeting associates and distributors for two Mexican drug cartels involved in trafficking fentanyl into South Florida.

"We are pursuing them with everything that we have," Special Agent in Charge Deanne Reuter said. 

She said fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are responsible for nearly 70% of the drug overdose and poisoning deaths.

Between May 1, 2022 and May 1, 2023, DEA Miami agents seized 548,006 fentanyl pills and 91 pounds of fentanyl powder, which is enough to deliver 2.6 million deadly doses, according to an agency press release. 

In February, Operation Titan Fall took down elements of three drug trafficking groups that allegedly mailed dozens of kilograms of drugs.

Investigators target networks from those involved in the precursor chemicals used to manufacture illicit drugs down to the user level, SAC Reuter said.  Increasingly, those networks use social media and encrypted communication apps like Tik Tok, WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, Wire and Wickr, according to DEA Miami.

In a 12-month span that ended in May, federal agents had 21 cases that involved drug trafficking through social media or encrypted communication apps, according to DEA Miami.

"It's a way that they can connect to our youth and your children," SAC Reuter said.  "That's whose using social media the most and using social media to distribute fentanyl makes it easy, anonymous and quick."

The DEA's annually hosts Family Summits in every division. 

DEA Miami did so in Sunrise Thursday. It allows families who've lost loved ones to drug poisoning to connect, support one another and discuss ways to protect others from their pain. 

"You'll hear some families who said my son or daughter got an Adderall on social media and it actually contained fentanyl and they overdosed, which is a poisoning," SAC Reuter said.

Agents believe most of the fentanyl comes from two Mexican cartels: Sinaloa and Jalisco. So, over the last year, DEA Miami focused resources on targeting both cartels and their distribution network.

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