Riverside County District Attorney Michael Hestrin warned that fentanyl overdoses are a grave threat to American citizens and are the main catalyst fueling the nation’s drug crisis.
Appearing on Fox News’ “America Reports” on Monday, Hestrin told anchor Sandra Smith that in the California county of Riverside, “the number of fentanyl deaths in the last five years has gone up 800 percent. This year, we expect to have well over 500 people die because of fentanyl poisoning.”
He said that in Southern California, in particular, various district attorneys are working together to make it a regular practice to file charges of murder against criminals dealing fentanyl.
“We got to push back, get the word out that this will not be tolerated in our counties.”
An analysis of U.S. government data done by the opioid awareness group Families Against Fentanyl shows that fentanyl overdose deaths doubled in 30 states across the country between 2019 and 2021. In fact, Alaska, Colorado, Louisiana, Mississippi, California and Texas saw their numbers quintuple over the same time period.
Fox News reported in December that fentanyl overdoses had become the number one cause of death among U.S. adults ages 18-45. Approximately 71 percent of those were male.
“The fentanyl crisis is getting worse, not better. Fake pills with deadly amounts of fentanyl are popping up everywhere. It’s in fake Xanax and Percocets, it’s being laced in cocaine and ecstasy. A single pill can kill,” Families Against Fentanyl founder James Rauh, who lost his son to fentanyl poisoning, said in a statement Thursday.
“Fentanyl poisoning is tearing families apart and killing our young people at an alarming rate,” Rauh said. “This stuff is so deadly it’s been used as a chemical weapon. Even babies and young children have been fatally poisoned by accident. It does not belong on our streets. It’s time for our leaders in Washington to do more.”
Likely with that data in mind, the Biden regime was sued in August of 2021 by West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey for reversing former President Trump’s “Remain in Mexico” policy.
As BPR reported last August, the lawsuit accuses Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas of failing to consider “the consequences for the ongoing devastating deadly flood of fentanyl across the Southwest border into this country.”
“When they modified [MPP], they utterly failed to consider what was going to happen to drug trafficking and didn’t even mention it in their documents, and when it comes to immigration issues, it’s not only about stopping undocumented aliens from coming across the border, it’s also critical to be mindful of the drug trade which affects every state in the United States,” Morrisey told Fox News at the time.
During that same month, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department in Georgia warned citizens of fentanyl-laced candies that resemble gummy bears having been seized by the department.
Hestrin believes that harsh penalties are not the only measure necessary to stop the scourge of fentanyl and the subsequent, often inevitable deaths due to users being unaware that their drug of choice is laced with fentanyl.
“We are working hard to get the message out and you having me on the program and covering this also helps,” Hestrin said on the network, adding, “People need to understand there is no safe way to use or deal fentanyl.”
“The drugs that are on the streets now are virtually all laced with fentanyl, it’s all mixed in,” he cautioned.
“There never was a time when drugs were safe, but now they are literally killing people; It’s playing Russian roulette.”
He added that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency estimates that 40 percent of all illegal drugs on the street are laced with a fatal dose of fentanyl.
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