Amount of fentanyl seized across the U.S. this year enough to kill the combined population of America’s 5 largest states
07/10/2024 // Olivia Cook // Views

The amount of fentanyl confiscated across America so far this year is enough to kill the more than half of the country's population.

The fentanyl crisis in the United States has reached unprecedented levels, posing a severe threat to public health and safety. Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is up to 100 times more potent than morphine, has become a leading cause of overdose deaths across the country.

Law enforcement agencies are seizing massive quantities of this deadly substance, with recent seizures alone containing enough fentanyl to kill the combined populations of California, Texas, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania.

The alarming increase in fentanyl trafficking and consumption highlights the urgent need for comprehensive strategies to combat this epidemic and protect communities nationwide. (Related: In just one month, U.S. authorities confiscate enough fentanyl to kill combined populations of California, Florida, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas.)

In 2023, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) seized over 80 million fake pills laced with fentanyl and nearly 12,000 pounds of fentanyl powder. This surpassed 2022's total of 58 million pills. These seizures amounted to more than 381 million lethal doses.

So far this year, the DEA has already seized nearly 28 million fentanyl pills and over 4,000 pounds of fentanyl powder, amounting to nearly 200 million deadly doses of fentanyl. Here are three states where the most fentanyl has been seized.


Following a major bust, the DEA expects Utah to set a record for the number of fentanyl pills seized this year. As reported by Kyle Dunphey for Utah News Dispatch on July 4, the DEA's Rocky Mountain Field Division seized around 170,000 fentanyl pills in Utah within two weeks in June. This is about a quarter of the total pills seized in 2023, which was a record-breaking 664,000 pills.

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In total, the Rocky Mountain Field Division, which covers Utah, Colorado, Wyoming and Montana, confiscated about 3.4 million fentanyl pills in 2023. According to Jonathan Pullen, the special agent in charge of the division, these seizures indicate the presence of Mexican criminal groups operating in Utah.

"The drug cartels in Mexico are not slowing down their production and distribution of this deadly poison. Fentanyl pills and powder are widespread, and the cartels targeting Utah do not care if you are on summer vacation. We urge you to discuss the dangers of fentanyl with your family, friends and community," Pullen said.

The investigations into these seizures are ongoing and further details are not currently available. However, a warrant filed in Utah’s Fourth District Court in March mentioned an unnamed drug trafficking group from Sinaloa, Mexico, under investigation since 2016 for its operations in Utah. This investigation has led to the arrest of dozens of group members and the seizure of hundreds of pounds of heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and over $2 million in cash and assets.

Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control show that around 105,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year, with about 70 percent of those deaths involving fentanyl, according to the DEA. "The recent seizures of 170,000 fentanyl pills in Utah likely saved lives across the state," said Dustin Gillespie, the special agent in charge of the Salt Lake City DEA office.


As of June 27, nearly seven million fentanyl pills and 3,725 pounds of fentanyl powder have been seized in California since January 2024. This massive haul, reported by ABC7 in the Bay Area, includes drugs intercepted at the southern border by the California National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force. In May alone, the task force confiscated over one million fentanyl pills and nearly 1,000 pounds of fentanyl powder.

"The California National Guard's Counterdrug Task Force continues to play an important role in the fight against fentanyl. We are proud to support our local, state, federal, and tribal law enforcement partners with critical resources," said Maj. Gen. Matthew Beevers, the California National Guard's adjutant general.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has doubled the deployment of CalGuard service members to tackle fentanyl smuggling. The state also launched for opioid prevention and treatment information and to highlight efforts to hold pharmacies and drug traffickers accountable.

As part of the fight against the fentanyl crisis, over-the-counter naloxone, branded as CalRx, is becoming available across California. Newsom's office stated that through the Naloxone Distribution Project, CalRx naloxone nasal spray will be provided for free to eligible organizations or sold for $24 per twin-pack through Amneal.


On May 20, Lindsey Toomer of Colorado Newsline reported that Colorado set a record for fentanyl pill seizures in 2023 and 2024 is already on track to surpass that. According to a new report from New York University's Langone Health, Colorado and New Mexico tied for the second-highest number of fentanyl pill seizures in the U.S. in 2023, with 1,353 each. This led to 5.1 million pills being confiscated across Colorado.

Most of the fentanyl seized in Colorado in 2023 was in pill form. The DEA's Rocky Mountain Field Division seized a record 2.6 million pills in Colorado alone. This division saw a total of 3.4 million pills seized across all four states in 2023, highlighting Colorado's significant share. For comparison, the division seized 565,200 pills in 2021 and 1.9 million pills in 2022.

"It's an alarming increase. In the first three months of 2024, we were almost at half of last year's total. Unfortunately, it looks like we'll break that record again," said David Olesky, the division's acting special agent in charge.

Olesky noted that Colorado is seeing seizure numbers similar to those of border states in previous years. What used to be considered a large haul is now becoming more common. For instance, a single seizure in Trinidad earlier this year netted over 300,000 pills, pushing the state past last year's halfway mark of 1.3 million pills by March.

Find more stories like this at

Watch this video that talks about how fentanyl fiends destroy cities.

This video is from the Sons of the Republic channel on

More related stories:

Oregon officials declare state of emergency over FENTANYL CRISIS in Portland (stemming from open border policies endorsed by Dems).

Alex Jones: FENTANYL crisis victimizes both young and old.

DRUG CITY: San Francisco hits grim record of 3 OVERDOSE DEATHS each day due to FENTANYL.

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