SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — While the San Diego Border Patrol Sector reported 230,941 encounters with migrants for the 2023 fiscal year, a record number for the last 20 years, it also set a record for the amount of drug seizures during the same time period, especially fentanyl.

According to the Border Patrol, its agents confiscated 1,285 pounds of fentanyl, 2,100 pounds of cocaine, 111 pounds of heroin and 1,802 pounds of methamphetamine.

“We’re about three percent of the Southwest border, but the majority of hard narcotics keeps coming up the California corridor, they’re coming through our area here in San Diego,” said Eric Lavergne, Acting Assistant Chief Patrol Agent for San Diego Sector.

Lavergne stated the sector was responsible for over 45% of the total fentanyl seized by the U.S. Border Patrol during the last fiscal year.

Eric Lavergne is the Acting Assistant Chief Patrol Agent in Charge. (Salvador Rivera/Border Report)

Traditionally, most of the fentanyl and other narcotics are seized at ports of entry, but according to Lavergne, agents are catching a lot of drugs as well.

“Most of our narcotics are intercepted at checkpoints, the checkpoint on the 8 freeway, or up in San Clemente or Murrieta,” said Lavergne. “Heroin, meth, cocaine were the big narcotics, but now fentanyl is taking over as the main narcotic. For example, this year we’ve only seized about 111 pounds of heroin, versus almost 1,300 pounds of fentanyl, as it’s cheaper, stronger, more deadly.”

Lavergne stated he believes the high number of fentanyl seizures will continue well into next year.

“Cartels have started to focus mainly on fentanyl production and sending that across the border,” he said.