Fentanyl crackdown nets 4 million pills, 217 arrests, California attorney general says
California Atty. Gen. Rob Bonta announced Wednesday that a state Department of Justice-led task force has seized more than 4 million fentanyl pills and nearly 900 pounds of fentanyl powder and arrested 217 suspects since April 2021.
In Southern California, an operation through the Los Angeles Interagency Metropolitan Police Apprehension Crime Task Force resulted in the seizure of 52 pounds of fentanyl powder, which is enough to make 250,000 pills, Bonta said in a Wednesday news conference. The unnamed suspect in that case faces felony charges.
In Riverside, the state task force conducted a sting operation weeks ago that resulted in the seizure of more than 110,000 fentanyl pills, Bonta said.
“Think of the lives that were potentially saved in one takedown operation,” he said. “We’re talking about moms and dads, and even potentially children.”
A seventh LAUSD student has overdosed from pills possibly containing fentanyl after Bernstein High student Melanie Ramos died last week, LAPD says.
About $7.9 million has been secured in this year’s budget for the creation of a new program within the state Department of Justice to expand enforcement work, according to Bonta. The funds will be used to hire 25 new positions to address the fentanyl crisis.
“In short, today is a down payment on our work to tackle the fentanyl crisis,” Bonta said. “And the poison peddlers in our neighborhood should watch out because we’re coming for them next.”
The state Justice Department has secured more than $32 billion in settlements for treatment and prevention strategies in communities, according to a news release.
Eric Kay was convicted of distributing fentanyl and giving Skaggs the drugs that caused his fatal overdose in 2019.
The fentanyl crisis has continued to ravage the United States, as federal officials have warned about fentanyl being found in heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine and counterfeit pills. They have also spoke out about “rainbow-colored pills” apparently targeting teens and young people.
Last month, 15-year-old Melanie Ramos died from an apparent fentanyl overdose at Bernstein High School in Hollywood after ingesting what she believed to be a Percocet pill. Other students were hospitalized in the rash of student overdoses stemming from drugs being sold on campus and at a nearby park, according to officials.
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