/ Modified may 3, 2024 5:27 p.m.

Blinken talks battling fentanyl with Mayor Romero

Secretary of State Antony Blinken visited Tucson Friday and spoke with Mayor Regina Romero about the impacts of fentanyl and other synthetic drugs on the community.

Antony Blinken VIEW LARGER Secretary of State Antony Blinken speaks with Mayor Regina Romero about the impacts of fentanyl on the community at the Tucson 911/311 Call Center on May 3, 2024.

Blinken said he heard during the visit that half of all fentanyl seized in this country is coming from the Tucson region, passing through ports of entry.

“And of that, I think we found that something like 75% of the individual pills have a lethal dose in them," he said. "So we have to start at the very beginning of the supply chain, and then work every piece of it along the way."

Blinken said China has started to take down companies that illegally deal in the chemicals that make fentanyl. And he’s seen more cooperation with Mexico on information sharing and taking down cartels that smuggle fentanyl into the U.S.

Nearly 1300 people have died of a fentanyl overdose in Pima County in the last five years.

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