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Amid Increase in Fentanyl Deaths, Orange County District Attorney Launches Campaign

Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer launches an anti-fentanyl campaign to address the increase in fentanyl deaths countywide.

Over the last five years, fentanyl deaths in Orange County have increased by 1,000 percent, and statewide it has increased. District attorney Todd Spitzer launched an anti-fentanyl campaign, which includes ad posters that appear on Orange County Transit Authority buses.

The ad posters say: “FENTANYL ENDS LIFE IN A SNAP – WILL YOU BURY YOUR CHILD?” and includes a fentanyl death meter counting the number of deaths in California this year, and another quote saying “ONE PILL WILL KILL – FENTANYL MURDERS OUR KIDS EVERY DAY “ with a pill transformed into a tombstone, the district attorney’s office said.

The increase in fentanyl overdoses is partly due to the illicit nature of drug dealers distributing the drug laced with other less-potent drugs.

To combat the rise in fentanyl, Spitzer collaborated with the United States Attorney General’s Office designated an Orange County prosecutor as a federal prosecutor to prosecute fentanyl-related death cases.

Now, drug dealers can face murder charges if someone dies from a fentanyl overdose, allowing for a 20-year mandatory minimum.

“The California legislature and some of our Orange County Superior Court judges have turned their backs on these grieving parents by refusing to give us the tools we need to fight these drug dealers with state charges,” Spitzer said in a statement Oct. 14.

“If we can’t get what these victims deserve through the state courts, we will take our cases to the United States Attorney to be prosecuted federally. Sadly, fentanyl has created a new class of murder victims – and we aren’t giving up on justice for them.”

Since the state rejected SB 350 last year, which would have made advertising mandatory for controlled substances, Spitzer’s office is working with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in tandem with police departments across Orange County to alert drug dealers and manufacturers of the danger of fentanyl and other controlled substances during their point of arrest.


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