(ABC News) U.S. Customs and Border Protection has stored enough fentanyl in the past year to kill an estimated 794 million people, and now a government watchdog office is warning that the agency is "unnecessarily jeopardizing the lives" of its own agents by not sufficiently protecting them from accidental exposure to the lethal synthetic opioid.
In a report released Friday, the Homeland Security Department's Inspector General said the amount of fentanyl seized by agents and stored in vaults has skyrocketed -- from 70 pounds in 2015 to 3,500 pounds so far in this budget year. A single 2 milligram dose of fentanyl (there are 453,592 milligrams in a pound) is lethal for most people, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
In some cases, the powerful drug can sit in a vault for years while the government prosecutes its case.
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