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Retired DEA agent reacts to Gov. Abbott's executive order declaring cartels as terrorists

3 days 1 hour 22 minutes ago Thursday, September 22 2022 Sep 22, 2022 September 22, 2022 11:05 PM September 22, 2022 in News - Local

A retired agent with the Drug Enforcement Agency is reacting after Gov. Greg Abbott issued a Wednesday executive order that declared Mexican cartels as terrorists. 

The order means arrested cartel members could face more significant charges, and Abbott called on Biden to also make the designation.

RELATED: As fentanyl plagues Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott directs state police to focus on cartels

“The cartels don't care, they're not going to be measuring to see if it's less than two milligrams,” retired DEA Agent Leonardo Silva Said. “They're just going to put whatever, and if it's a lethal dose, well then, that's the way it is. And that's the problem because a lot of people are dying from fentanyl overdose."

Silva says the order could also change relations with Mexico.

“Then we can put sanctions on the country, it gives us more power to do other things, to pressure them to do something in their country to stop this problem,” Silva said, adding that a move like that would also give more funding to Border Patrol.

According to Abbott, the state saw an 89% increase in fentanyl-related deaths in 2021 compared to the year before.

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