BETHESDA, Md. (FOX 5 DC) - We’ve heard from grieving parents. We’ve seen the impact on kids in school, and now, we’re learning about the dozens upon dozens of fentanyl-related investigations ending up in the DMV’s courts.
"We certainly have cartel members in Washington D.C., Virginia, and Maryland," said Special Agent in Charge Jarod Forget of the DEA’s Washington Division.
Since May 2022, officials said their intelligence and operational efforts resulted in 158 investigations directly linked to the Sinaloa and Jalisco cartels just in the region. They added the investigations have also led to the arrest of 240 criminals, the seizure of 98 pounds of fentanyl powder, more than 224,000 fake pills, 126 pounds of methamphetamine, more than 500 guns, and $4.5 million.
"These are local networks, drug networks, violent gangs, and crews in our area that are selling and peddling this deadly fentanyl onto our streets," Forget explained.
He also said that of those recent investigations, more than 50 involved encrypted communications platforms and social media apps, including Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat, WhatsApp, Telegram, and more.
"The days of needing to go in some dark alley to get drugs, now you can just … Young people especially are going online," Forget said. "Knowing who your children hang out with in real life, if you will, is not enough. You need to know, parents need to know what their kids are doing online."
Of course, that’s not always possible to do. So, Forget recommended that parents talk to their kids about the topic as much as they can.