4M Pills, 860M Pounds Of Illegal Fentanyl Seized In Last 18 Months In California – Orange County Register

More than four million fentanyl pills and 860 million pounds of fentanyl powder have been seized by law enforcement agencies across California over the past 18 months as they continue to battle the opioid crisis, officials said Wednesday, October 12.

During that time span, law enforcement arrested 217 suspects accused of moving or trafficking deadly fentanyl, California Attorney General Rob Bonta said during a news conference in downtown Los Angeles.

“Across the country, we continue to grapple with the impact of the opioid crisis and have seen a significant increase in fentanyl use and related deaths in recent years,” the attorney general said.

In Southern California, the operations resulted in the seizure of nearly 2.3 million fentanyl pills and 762 pounds of powder, Bonta said, and 121 arrests.

In the Inland Empire, 25 suspects were arrested while 790,000 pills and 36 pounds of powder were seized, he said.

Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and just two milligrams could kill, Bonta said, adding that his office was aware of rainbow-colored pills said to be intended for children. When mixed with other drugs, fentanyl increases the likelihood of a fatal overdose, he said.

The state has earmarked nearly $8 million for the effort to allow Bonta’s office to hire new jobs, he said.

“Today is a down payment in our work to address the fentanyl crisis,” Bonta said. “The poison dealers in our neighborhood should watch out, because next we’re going to get them.”

Bonta said the state isn’t interested in “restarting the war on drugs” by putting those struggling with addiction behind bars, but in getting them treated.

The opioid crisis began in the 1990s, Bonta said, when pharmaceutical companies “put profits before lives” by misleading the public about the drug’s effects.

In addition to the busts, settlements between the Justice Department and drug companies have raised $32 billion statewide, including $2 billion specifically for California, “to bring back much-needed funds to communities for treatment and prevention strategies,” Bonta said.

“Every dollar, every investment, every person, every takedown potentially saves a life,” the attorney said. “The number of pills – each one represents potential injury or death. We see a crisis and when you see a crisis you have to do what you do in a crisis: all hands on deck.”

https://www.ocregister.com/2022/10/12/4-million-pills-860-million-pounds-of-illegal-fentanyl-seized-in-california-in-last-18-months/ 4M Pills, 860M Pounds Of Illegal Fentanyl Seized In Last 18 Months In California – Orange County Register

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