Florida AG urges Biden to demand action from Mexico counterpart to combat fentanyl crisis
Biden and Mexico's president are scheduled to meet in Mexico City on Monday.
The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook
Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody called on President Joe Biden on Friday to “confront Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador” and “demand action” to stop the flow of illicit fentanyl being brought into the U.S. from Mexico by the Sinaloa Cartel and its gang affiliates.
The presidents are scheduled to meet in Mexico City on Monday.
The White House announced an agenda that excluded any discussion about combatting the fentanyl crisis. Instead, it prioritizes “climate and the environment, migration, diversity and inclusion and increasing North America’s economic competitiveness.”
In a letter sent to the president on Friday, Moody said, “I am deeply concerned, because it does not appear that you plan to discuss the deluge of illicit fentanyl flooding across our border from Mexico or the record number of Americans dying because of your failure to take action and stop the unmitigated flow of this deadly poison.”
Fentanyl is the number one killer of Americans between the ages of 18 and 45.
The DEA last month announced that in 2022 it seized enough fentanyl to kill more than everyone in the U.S. Texas law enforcement officers have also seized enough fentanyl to kill more than everyone in the United States. Last year, in a few months’ time, Florida law enforcement agencies seized enough fentanyl to kill everyone in Florida.
Two milligrams, the weight of a mosquito, is considered a lethal dose.
Moody also points to a U.S.-Mexico task force the president announced last July that was supposed to have looked into combating the fentanyl crisis. Nearly five months later, the flow of fentanyl into the U.S. from Mexico hasn’t decreased but appears to be holding steady, if not increasing, according to law enforcement data.
The president also has “failed to demand accountability and cooperation during previous meetings with both Obrador and Chinese President Xi Jinping,” Moody said.
Both countries have been identified by U.S. federal and state law enforcement agencies for creating the illicit fentanyl crisis. Chinese mafia and gangs ship fentanyl precursors to Mexican ports, where cartels and their operatives manufacture fake prescription pills and lace other drugs with fentanyl, fueling the fentanyl crisis, the DEA and other agencies have reported.
Traffickers then bring deadly drugs across the border using migrant warfare as a way to distract and avoid law enforcement, experts say.
“Biden is 0–2 in previous meetings, but now has an opportunity to hold President Obrador’s feet to the fire and force cooperation in the dismantling of fentanyl production and distribution centers operated by the Mexican drug cartels,” Moody said.
Before Biden meets with Obrador, Moody demanded that Biden “consider all the American families who just endured the holiday season after losing a loved one to a drug overdose – there are thousands of them. Consider these families and commit to demanding accountability from Mexico for not doing more to stop the production and distribution of deadly synthetic drugs.”
She also said the fentanyl crisis will only worsen if the president “continues to allow our border to be vulnerable and controlled by the cartels.”
Moody’s call came after she previously called on the president more than once to label fentanyl as a weapon of mass destruction and to restore a top drug post to a cabinet position to combat the fentanyl crisis. She’s yet to hear back.
On Thursday, the president announced he was expanding immigration policies, including one over which Florida has already sued. Moody’s office goes to trial in the case on Monday, the same day Biden and Obrador meet.
The DEA has published several public safety alerts about the dangers of fentanyl. Florida has also published resources through it’s Dose of Reality, One Pill Can Kill website. It’s Fast Facts on Fentanyl toolkit includes a DEA Emoji Drug Code to educate parents about how dealers are selling illicit drugs targeting minors through social media apps.