SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection is launching Operation Apollo as a way to “double down its efforts to combat fentanyl and synthetic drugs.”

It says the mission of this new initiative is to continue to fight the national opioid epidemic that has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans and impacted countless lives, families, and communities.

The announcement was made by Acting CBP Commissioner Troy Miller, who invited members of the law enforcement community and policymakers from throughout Southern California to join him at a news conference at the San Ysidro Port of Entry.

“Twenty percent of all passengers that enter the U.S. every single day, come through San Diego, 47 percent of all fentanyl seizures happen here in San Diego, so I thought it was important that I got together with the community leaders here to kick off our new strategy and operation apollo,” said Miller.

According to Miller and CBP Apollo is “a joint regional operation that flows from the updated strategy to detect, identify, and seize illicit drugs from entering the country and preventing these deadly substances from entering our communities and taking lives.”

Miller says the plan will allow CBP to work together with federal, state and local partners who will share and understand better tactics, techniques, processes as they go after transnational criminal organizations while fiercely dedicated to protecting the American people.

“In my thirty years as a customs official, the trafficking of synthetic illicit drugs like fentanyl is one of the toughest, most daunting challenges I have ever seen,” said Miller. “Through this updated strategy, we will channel the incredible efforts of the men and women of CBP to keep this and other drugs out of the country.”

CBP and DHS will employ at “whole-of-government approach” to disrupting the supply chain for fentanyl and other synthetic drugs calls. Some of the strategies include:

  • Denying access to precursor chemicals;
  • Denying access to pill pressers and parts;
  • Disrupting the ability to move raw materials, manufacturing machinery, and finished
    fentanyl; and,
  • Disrupting the flow of financial benefits from the production and trafficking of fentanyl.
    Reduce the synthetics supply domestically;
  • Reduce the synthetics supply internationally; and
  • Use data and information sharing innovatively to combat synthetic drugs and their

Miller stated this is only the beginning.

“This is the first step in enacting our new CBP strategy to combat fentanyl, it won’t be our last.”