Police in Southern California seized over 20 pounds of fentanyl during a drug bust in Santa Ana. Authorities claim that amount of fentanyl has the potential to kill a whopping 4.7 million people. It takes only 2 milligrams of fentanyl to be a lethal dose.
That’s “more than the combined city populations of Miami, Orlando, Jacksonville and Tampa” writes News4 Jacksonville.
Prosecutors say it was the largest drug bust in Orange County in 16 years. The bust also included 200 pounds of cocaine and over 800 pounds of meth, authorities stated.
Fentanyl overdose is a growing crisis in the United States. Weeks ago, DEA agents win California seized 3 kilos of fentanyl powder. Days before the Orange County drug bust, Phoenix federal agents seized 150,000 fentanyl pills and a kilo of fentanyl powder.
On Friday SaraCarter.com reported on a letter sent by the Drug Enforcement Agency to all federal and local law enforcement warning that mass-overdoses are occurring all over the country.
Many street drugs are being laced with fentanyl. The DEA letter stated:
The DEA is seeing a nationwide spike in fentanyl-related mass-overdose events involving three or more overdoses occurring close in time at the same location. In just the past two months, there have been at least 7 confirmed mass overdose events across the United States resulting in 58 overdoses and 29 overdose deaths.
Many of the overdose victims “thought they were ingesting cocaine and had no idea that they were in fact ingesting fentanyl” the letter states. Jacksonville’s DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Mike Dubet said Mexican drug cartels are flooding the U.S. with fentanyl to keep up with the demand of drug users and gain new customers.
“Last year, we had a record year of fennel seizures. I believe it was around 15,000 pounds” said Dubet. “This year in the first three months, we’re on pace to top that.”
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‘One Pill Kills’: 15-year-old dies from one pill laced with fentanyl; purchased from classmate
Just one pill killed 15-year-old Melanie Ramos at Helen Bernstein High School in Hollywood. Friends and family say Ramos, to their knowledge, did not use drugs, but was killed by taking just one pill of a drug containing a deadly dose of fentanyl before her body was discovered in the school bathroom.
Ramos and a friend are believed to have purchased the plus from another 15-year-old male student at the school who has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.
The Los Angeles Times reports:
In addition to the 15-year-old suspect, a 16-year-old boy was arrested on suspicion of narcotics sales for allegedly selling pills at nearby Lexington Park on Tuesday to a third student, a 17-year-old boy from Hollywood High School. The identities of the arrested boys were not released because they are minors. They are students at Apex Academy, a charter school on the Bernstein campus.
Police said there was a fourth student who overdosed at the park, but her identity is not known.
In the aftermath, top city leaders — Mayor Eric Garcetti, L.A. Police Chief Michel Moore and schools Supt. Alberto Carvalho — have pledged urgent action as on-the-ground law-enforcement officials bluntly described the massive and dangerous influx of drugs.
“One pill kills,” said LAPD Capt. Lillian Carranza, who oversees the gang and narcotics division, adding that the term “fentanyl-laced” is a weak misnomer. “It is straight up fentanyl. It is not laced with fentanyl… We recovered hundreds, if not thousands, of pills a day; 10,000 pills every other day isn’t unusual” for drugs that are cheap to make and transport and “pushed hard by drug dealers and the cartels.”
“Tell your children: You can’t tell if drugs contain fentanyl by look, taste, smell or touch,” Garcetti said. “A dealer may be a friend or so-called friend or classmate. They might not even know what substance they’re providing.”
Moore pledged swift justice up the distribution chain. “These were students selling to students,” Moore said, “and we’re looking for the people who are using them solely for their access to this campus.” He said that public awareness — leading to prevention — is the best strategy, but that it also would help to put school police on campus.
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