From Fort Worth Thursday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced a new criminal offense for the manufacture or distribution of fentanyl.
Abbott made the announcement while discussing the trafficking of drugs, including fentanyl, across the Texas border by Mexican drug cartels.
The governor said the new offense includes a punishment beginning as a third-degree felony.
News from around the state of Texas.
To combat the dangers of fentanyl, the governor said was essential for parents, schools, and other entities in the community to get involved to prevent fentanyl deaths.
Abbott said fentanyl seizures in Tarrant County are up 100% in the first four months of the year. The governor said no fentanyl seizures were recorded from 2017-2019, but in 2020 52 grams were seized and in the first four months of 2021 137 grams have been seized.
In Mansfield, Abbott said police there seized between 3,000 and 5,000 fentanyl pills this year while adding that there have been 60 suspected fentanyl overdoses in Tarrant County this year.
Abbott blamed President Biden's border policies on the influx of drugs into Texas saying that when young unaccompanied migrants surged the border they occupied border patrol agents who then had to prioritize their care. Abbott said the border patrol being occupied then opened up large gaps along the border where cartels are able to move drugs like fentanyl across the border more easily.
"I think this is a mere fraction of what we'll continue to see coming into Texas," Abbott said.
Once the drugs come across the border, Abbott said they are then shipped elsewhere in the state and throughout the country.
While in Fort Worth, Abbott also answered questions about a possible special legislative session after Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick called for one earlier this week to make sure three "conservative bills" get passed. Abbott said that was goofy and that only he can call for a special session and set the agenda for that session.