Fentanyl has become the leading cause of overdose deaths (71,000 in 2021) in the United States. Most illegal fentanyl in the US is manufactured in China then smuggled through Mexico. (Wikipedia)
Former President Donald Trump got PRC President for LIfe Xi Jinping to schedule fentanyl as a controlled substance in his country in 2018 (Freebeacon). It didn’t slow down the production and smuggling at all. Now, in 2022, pressure is on President Joe Biden to address the issue with Xi (NYPost).
Many in the US believe immigrants from Mexico are responsible for smuggling the drug across the border. Immigrants attempting to sneak across the border do not want to be apprehended with controlled substances (NPR). Cartels, however, have the infrastructure and organization to make big money smuggling. Some cartels are believed to be run by government officials. General Salvador Cienfuegos was arrested in Los Angeles; suspected of running the H-2 cartel. He was returned to Mexico by then Attorney General WIliam Barr. Cienfuegos was cleared of wrongdoing by the Mexican government.