Fentanyl deaths have skyrocketed across the United States over the last few years, with Orange County experiencing a 1,000% increase over the last five years as a result of an increase in fentanyl being intentionally disguised as other less potent drugs.
Statewide, fentanyl deaths have increased 1,513%.
Rich. Poor. Black. White. Brown. Men. Women. Kids. Hard-core drug users. First-time experimenters. Fentanyl will kill you.
The Orange County Sheriff-Coroner has more than hundreds of drug-related deaths PENDING. Most of those are suspected to also be fentanyl-related deaths, but we won’t know for sure until toxicology tests are completed and a final cause of death has been issued.
Fentanyl is reportedly 60 to 100 times more potent than morphine and some fentanyl analogues may be as much as 10,000 times more potent.
A mere two milligrams of these substances can kill you. That is the equivalent of TWO GRAINS OF SAND. THAT IS THE TIP OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S NOSE ON A PENNY.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people under the age of 50 are more likely to die from drugs than any other cause including heart disease and cancer.
It’s cheap, it’s easy to get, and it’s killing our children, our friends, our neighbors. Not because fentanyl victims thought they were taking fentanyl and took too much.
They’re dying because the pills they took looked just like Oxycontin, Xanax and Percocet – but instead it was fentanyl mass-produced by criminal networks to intentionally deceive the American public. To kill them.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office is not going to let these drug dealers get away with murder.
In November 2021, I announced that my prosecutors will issue an advisement to drug dealers, manufacturers, and distributors when they are convicted of certain drug-related offenses, including fentanyl, that warns them of the deadly danger of controlled substances, including fentanyl, and if they engage in future drug-related behaviors – and someone dies as a result, they can be charged with murder.
The advisement is similar to the Watson advisement which California law requires be given to drivers convicted of driving under drugs or alcohol that warns that if the driver drives under the influence again and kills someone, they can be charged with murder.
The Orange County District Attorney’s Office is also working with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department and police departments across Orange County to formally warn drug dealers and manufacturers of the deadly consequences of fentanyl and other controlled substances at the time of their arrest.
Every law enforcement agency in Orange County has agreed to provide the controlled substances advisement at the time of arrest.
We will not allow drug dealers to get away with murder.