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Fentanyl Crisis: Rising Investigations and Cartel Presence in the DMV



We acknowledge the heart-wrenching stories shared by grieving parents and recognize the profound impact fentanyl has had on school-age children. The surge of fentanyl-related investigations in the DMV’s courts has raised concerns, prompting us to address this pressing issue.

Special Agent in Charge Jarod Forget from the DEA’s Washington Division confirms the presence of cartel members in Washington D.C., Virginia, and Maryland. Since May 2022, our law enforcement officials have been actively engaged in intelligence and operational efforts, resulting in 158 investigations directly linked to the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels within our region.

These extensive investigations have yielded significant outcomes, including the apprehension of 240 criminals and substantial seizures, such as 98 pounds of fentanyl powder, over 224,000 counterfeit pills, 126 pounds of methamphetamine, more than 500 firearms, and $4.5 million in illicit funds.

Agent Forget highlights the alarming existence of local networks, drug networks, violent gangs, and crews that operate within our communities, perpetuating the dangerous trade of fentanyl on our streets. These criminal entities are responsible for distributing and peddling this lethal substance.

In a significant shift, over 50 of the recent investigations involved encrypted communication platforms and popular social media apps, including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Telegram, and more. The accessibility of these platforms has facilitated drug-related activities, especially among young people. Agent Forget stresses that knowing who your children associate with in real life is no longer sufficient. It is crucial for parents to remain informed about their children’s online interactions as well.

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