Dori: Homeland Special Agent leads local fentanyl drug bust, looks for long-term solutions

Jul 31, 2022, 8:03 AM
(Photo by David L. Ryan via Getty Images)...
(Photo by David L. Ryan via Getty Images)
(Photo by David L. Ryan via Getty Images)

Earlier this month, the King County Council declared a fentanyl crisis as annual deaths are increasing.

With the declaration in effect, agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) have been working to seize pills making their way to the region, Robert Hammer, a Homeland Security Special Agent in Puget Sound, told The Dori Monson Show.

“We’ve really been busy continuing to combat the flow of fentanyl coming up off out of Mexico and related things out of China, continuing to come into the region,” Hammer said.

In the past week, his team discovered and shut down a fentanyl lab that was manufacturing pills in Whatcom County.

The PM Newsdesk Minutes: Whatcom County drug bust, King County burn ban in place

They also negotiated with Mexican cartel members for the undercover purchase of 91,000 pills, successfully taking the pills off the streets, Hammer said.

When agents went undercover, they said the drug traffickers had the fentanyl pills hidden in Lays Stax cans, he said.

But as agents work to recover pills and other narcotics, the HSI is tasked with another issue — cracking down on local drug makers purchasing ingredients online and pill pressing fentanyl.

They’ve worked with eBay and other online marketplaces to remove pill presses. However, the dark web remains a sourcing mechanism.

“But we really need to be looking at the damage that these individuals are causing in our communities by introducing this poison day in and day out,” Hammer told Dori.

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

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Dori: Homeland Special Agent leads local fentanyl drug bust, looks for long-term solutions