ALBUQUERQUE, NM (AP) – Authorities say fentanyl ranks number 1 among drug crime and violence in Albuquerque.
The Drug Enforcement Administration said agents seized 242 pounds of fentanyl in New Mexico in the past fiscal year.
That’s a 900% increase over the previous fiscal year, according to DEA officials, and well above the amount recorded across the state for the past five fiscal years combined.
Authorities said fentanyl seizures exceeded heroin, which has dropped to some of the lowest levels since 2016.
The reports that despite the seizures, the amount of fentanyl that has slipped through the fingers of law enforcement agencies has fueled an overdose epidemic in New Mexico.
Local authorities tell the newspaper that fentanyl has overtaken local drug markets in places like Albuquerque, contributing to violence and property crimes by those who use, trade and steal it.
Albuquerque police said fentanyl was ubiquitous and, unlike other hard drugs, often sold at street level by users.
Federal authorities reported seizing £ 22 in the city in October. Last month, DEA agents seized 26 pounds of fentanyl powder from two passengers on separate greyhound buses when they stopped in Albuquerque.