California seized enough fentanyl in 2023 to kill the world’s population nearly twice over

SACRAMENTO, CA. – California seized a record amount of the synthetic opioid fentanyl in 2023, enough to potentially kill the world’s population nearly twice over, Governor Gavin Newsom announced this week. Authorities intercepted 62,224 pounds of fentanyl worth a street value of $649 million in California and at the state’s ports of entry. Since 2021, fentanyl seizures by the California National Guard have increased by 1,066 percent.

In September Newsom announced that he was increasing the deployment of California National Guard members by approximately 50% from 40 to 60 soldiers at the four U.S. ports of entry to help prevent the flow of fentanyl into the state.

 “Fentanyl is a poison, and it does not belong in our communities,” said Newsom.

Nationwide the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) also seized a record amount of fentanyl in 2023. Agents intercepted 77 million fentanyl pills and 12,000 pounds of powder last year. 

“The dedicated women and men of DEA are doing everything in our power to battle the fentanyl scourge that is destroying our communities, but we’re essentially drinking water from a firehose,” said Special Agent in Charge J. Todd Scott, head of DEA’s Louisville Field Division.  “This is not a problem that can be solved by law enforcement alone.”

Fentanyl is the leading cause of death for Americans between the ages of 18 and 45, according to the DEA.