Newsom Doubles National Guard Troops at California Border

( – Governor Gavin Newsom has recently announced he is expanding the California National Guard’s Counter Drug Taskforce. Before the expansion, there were around 155 members of this force, now there will be 400. Newsom hopes this expansion will help to better fight against the smuggling of illegal drugs into California from the border points of Mexico.

Since 2022, The CalGuard Counter Drug Taskforce has been stationing its trained members at strategic locations all over the state. The jobs of the taskforce include gathering intelligence to disrupt narcotics trafficking, using drones and recon teams for gathering info at the borders, and supporting personnel at border ports to stop drugs from getting into the country.

Governor Newsom recently visited the border to support the members of the task force and see their progress. Major General Matthew Beevers of CalGuard highlighted the success of the initial deployments in 2022, where 30 members were stationed at the most populated Ports of Entry to help the border guard. Due to their effectiveness, the force was doubled in 2023. Under Newsom’s leadership and with Congressional support, the Taskforce has grown to its now 400 full-time members.

In May 2024, Governor Newsom reported that CalGuard operations had confiscated nearly six million fentanyl pills. CalGuard also played a key role in 2023 in the record seizure of over 62,000 pounds of fentanyl, which is an over 1000% increase since 2021 confiscations. These efforts are supported by California’s $30 million investment in CalGuard’s anti-drug trafficking work and additional support from the Biden Administration towards security and humanitarian aid.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, Americans are the ones who smuggle most of the fentanyl into the country through ports of entry. Although, the source is almost always from outsiders. CalGuard’s success over the years shows that a pro-active approach might bring the best results in reducing the amount of fentanyl that gets into the US.

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