U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized more than 100 pounds of the synthetic opioid fentanyl hidden in food packages at a San Diego border crossing station.
Two men, ages 43 and 50, drove to the border earlier this month in a 2005 GMC Yukon and applied to enter the United States with a passport and a California identification card, CBP stated in a press release Thursday.
During a brief inspection of the vehicle, officers found "packages wrapped in plastic concealed inside food products," the agency wrote.
After an extensive search, CBP officers discovered 46 packages of fentanyl concealed in flour bags, creamer cans, powdered milk cans and ground coffee cans.
"We are seeing a rise in fentanyl smuggling attempts," San Diego CBP official Anne Maricich said.
"Our officers are working vigilantly to prevent the entry of this dangerous drug. Our field office is also diligently working on mitigating the risks involved with seizing this lethal narcotic," she added.
In total, agents found "42.46 pounds of fentanyl powder and 59.08 pounds of fentanyl pills," which "have an estimated street value of more than $1.2 million," according to the press release.
CBP officers seized the vehicle and the deadly opioids while the driver and passenger were questioned by Homeland Security Investigations and booked into the Metropolitan Correctional Center in San Diego.
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration states that one kilogram of fentanyl could potentially kill 500,000 people.
This means CBP intercepted enough fentanyl to potentially kill more than 20 million Americans.
Under President Joe Biden, CBP officers are seizing fewer drugs, but the number of Americans dying from drug overdoses is increasing, according to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.