/ Modified sep 20, 2019 10:59 a.m.

Mexican military finds synthetic drug lab in Sonora near Arizona border

It’s the latest in a growing number of drug laboratories discovered by Mexican authorities this year.

sonora drug lab Mexican military personnel shut down a clandestine drug lab in Sonoyta, Sonora, just south of the Arizona border, on Sept. 17, 2019.
Gobierno de México - SEDENA

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HERMOSILLO, Mex. — The Mexican military found chemicals and equipment needed to produce methamphetamine Tuesday at a clandestine drug laboratory near Sonoyta, Sonora, just south of the border from Lukeville.

In a press release Wednesday, Mexico's Secretary of National Defense said it found nearly 2,000 gallons and 16,000 pounds of substances used in the production of synthetic drugs at the site.

It’s the latest in a growing number of drug laboratories discovered by Mexican authorities this year. Most were producing synthetic drugs like meth or fentanyl.

“They’re producing it by the tons," said Sanho Tree, director of the Drug Policy project at Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Policy Studies.

He says U.S. drug policies have helped fuel a booming industry for synthetic drug production in Mexico. Those drugs are then smuggled into the U.S., where, he says, a resurgence of meth use is contributing to the overdose crisis.

"The border wall, if it ever gets built, will do very little to stop any of this," he added.

Fronteras Desk
This story is from the Fronteras Desk, a collaboration of Southwestern public radio stations, including NPR 89.1. Read more from the Fronteras Desk.
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