DORI MONSON

Dori: Homeland Security Special Agent on surge in drug trafficking, fentanyl deaths

Nov 22, 2021, 3:52 PM | Updated: Nov 23, 2021, 8:57 am
Fentanyl overdose, opioids...
Fentanyl continues to be one of the leading causes behind Washington's opioid crisis. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
(Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Just last week, the Dori Monson Show reported on the arrest of Jovany Cota-Valenzuela, an alleged Mexican drug cartel-funded smuggler who federal investigators say was selling large quantities of deadly fentanyl, cocaine, and other illegal pills near Pioneer Square before he was captured.

Court records show Cota-Valenzuela told investigators that he was smuggled into the United States as a drug mule. He has been connected to a stash of:

  • 322 grams of heroin
  • 143 grams of methamphetamine
  • 48 grams of cocaine mixed with fentanyl
  • 29 grams of fentanyl mixed with cocaine
  • 25 grams of deadly fentanyl
  • 109 blue M30 pills and a separate stash of 152 blue M30 pills, both containing fentanyl
  • a loaded 9-millimeter handgun, scales, and lots of U.S. cash.

To get a sense of what this case represents and how it hits home on the streets of Seattle, Homeland Security Investigations agent Robert Hammer describes the surge in illegal drugs, the related death counts, and his recent firsthand experience with seeing a homeless man attack two innocent people after an outing with his son.

“One-hundred thousand Americans died from fentanyl last year,” Hammer said. “We, as a country, need to wake up to the dangers that this drug poses.”

That danger, Dori calculates, is comparable to the same number of lives lost during the 9/11 terrorist attacks every week-and-a-half for a single year.

Hammer cites the success of a “concerted effort” among “federal, state, and local” law enforcement to stop the surge that continues “to pummel the country.”

In 2020, the agent reports, 38 pounds of fentanyl were seized in the Seattle area. To date, seizures have topped 225 pounds so far this year. One pound of fentanyl alone can be used to create 500,000 pills – so recent seizures account for “millions and millions of pills.”

Another challenge for law enforcement: “Fentanyl is so small, you can smuggle it in anything.”

While this is a professional mission for Hammer, he saw firsthand the effects of drugs and homelessness after attending Sunday’s Seahawks game with his son. While leaving the game, Hammer observed a homeless man spit on an innocent woman. This prompted the woman’s father to confront the man, who then punched the dad, knocking him unconscious after hitting his head on the sidewalk.

“EMS (medics) came immediately,” Hammer said. “But for 30 minutes, I begged for a police officer to come and get this guy.”

Though Hammer tried to track the attacker, “he did disappear into a back alley.”

You can listen to the full interview with Hammer below:

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dori Monson on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dori monsonTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 12 noon for The Dori Monson Show.

Dori Monson Show

Dori Monson

state capitol, House...
Dori Monson

Dori: Keep an eye on scores of anti-gun bills in Olympia

State lawmakers consider nearly 30 anti-gun bills, some of which attempt to bypass a statute which preserves uniform gun laws in the state.
1 day ago
Crime, hit and run...
Dori Monson

Dori: Soft on crime policies from state Dems have tragic consequences

Washington state Democrats in the Legislature have made it open season for car thefts and the tragic consequences that can ensue.
1 day ago
Inslee, climate, vaccine requirements, election fraud...
Dori Monson Show

Gov. Inslee could be in ‘early stages of another presidential run,’ political watchdog theorizes

Gov. Jay Inslee is giving a political watchdog reason to believe he is considering a bid for the 2024 U.S. presidential election.
2 days ago
Western Washington University Viking...
Dori Monson

Dori: Is Western Washington University’s Viking mascot getting the woke boot?

He’s male. He’s Scandinavian. He’s considered by some as “too masculine” and “too aggressive.” And now, he might be getting canned.
5 days ago
plows, vaccine mandates...
Dori Monson

Dori: WSDOT’s snowplow service refusal over vaccine mandates ‘unbelievable,’ lawmaker says

State Sen. Curtis King joins the Dori Monson Show to discuss how COVID vaccine mandates may have impacted WSDOT's recent trials at the state passes.
6 days ago
Ronnie Spector...
Dori Monson

Dori’s tribute to the late Ronnie Spector: ‘She’s got one of the sexier lines in rock ‘n roll history’

When CBS News broke the story about the passing of the iconic singer Ronnie Spector today, I was so sad.
7 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
...

COVID Vaccine is a Game-Changer for Keeping our Kids Healthy

Snohomish Health District SPONSORED — Cheers to the parents and guardians who keep their kids safe and healthy. The dad who cooks a meal with something green in it, even though he’s tired and drive-thru burgers were tempting. The mom who calms down the little one who loudly and resolutely does NOT want to brush […]
...
Experience Anacortes

Coastal Christmas Celebration Week in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
...

Delayed-Onset PTSD: Signs and Symptoms

Lakeside-Milam Recovery Centers SPONSORED — You’re probably familiar with post-traumatic stress disorder. Often abbreviated as PTSD, this condition is diagnosed when a person experiences a set of symptoms for at least a month after a traumatic event. However, for some people, these issues take longer to develop. This results in a diagnosis of delayed-onset PTSD […]
...

Medicare open enrollment ends Dec. 7. Free unbiased help is here!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]
Dori: Homeland Security Special Agent on surge in drug trafficking, fentanyl deaths