“A Pill Killed My Son”: The Authorized Tactic to Cost Fentanyl Sellers with Homicide | Univision Health Information

Daniel Figueroa was born throughout the night time of December 24, so his mom referred to as him “my Christmas present.” He was a humorous teenager, however he began to cope with a horrible melancholy which led him to take treatment. One sleepless night time he referred to as his physician and he denied a prescription warning him that he might turn out to be addicted. But the boy present in Snapchat to somebody who supplied him medication.

It was the primary time Daniel had used an unlawful narcotic. It was additionally the final. On September 16, 2020, the boy misplaced his life on account of an overdose of fentanyl, a strong opioid that cartels carelessly combine with different medication, which has triggered deaths on this nation.

“A pill killed my son. A pill”, said his mother Perla Mendoza, in a recent Press conference in which two Southern California prosecutors warned that they will henceforth charge fentanyl sellers linked to their customers’ fatal overdoses with murder. This crime carries a sentence of 15 years in prison to life imprisonment.

“My son was a good boy. He had a heart of gold, he had dreams to help others. He was talented, funny, and a loving son. He was my only son, ”Mendoza stated with a damaged voice, in entrance of the pictures of 18 folks, most of them younger, who misplaced their lives consuming a drug containing fentanyl. “Losing my son has been the worst factor I’ve ever been via”added.

In Orange County, where Daniel lived, the excessive consumption of that substance triggered the deaths 1,000% since 2016. As the end of the year approached, in the morgue of that jurisdiction there were 550 bodies awaiting a toxicological test and they expected to find fentanyl in the majority. Across California, the increase in fatalities was even higher, at 1,513%.

“Rich, poor, black, white, Hispanic, males, girls, youngsters, recurrent drug customers, and first-time drug customers have died”Orange prosecutor Todd Spitzer said at the conference. “Now virtually each drug on the black market incorporates fentanyl,” he added.

Although a proposal seeking to bring charges against fentanyl traffickers whose buyers died of overdoses was unsuccessful in California, the Orange and Riverside prosecutors chose to use a legal strategy called the ‘Watson Waiver’, which allows second-degree murder charges to be filed against drivers. drunk men involved in a fatal accident.

“If you promote artificial medication with fentanyl you’ll be charged with homicide”Spitzer insisted. “I will no longer let them escape these deaths. It will not happen ”.

Riverside prosecutor Mike Hestrin said his office has already filed seven such cases and has three more pending. One of the accused is Joseph Michael Costanza, who allegedly sold him a dose that took the life of 18-year-old Ángel Vázquez. On the morning of October 4, 2020, the young man was found unconscious in a home in Eastvale. They took him to a nearby hospital, where he died an hour later. A 16-year-old boy also overdosed, but survived.

“Fentanyl has modified drug use and trafficking,” Hestrin advised the convention. “It is so deadly. It’s poisoning our communities (…) so I decided we weren’t going to do things the old-fashioned way. “

Even parents have been singled out for the deaths of their children. That happened in Indiana, where a woman was arrested for the overdose of his own three-year-old daughter. Investigators say the girl lost her life after taking a fentanyl pill she found at home.

In Las Vegas, a Hispanic woman faces similar criminal proceedings for the death of her boyfriend Joshua Gallegos, 24-year-old who was pronounced dead shortly after paramedics arrived.

Three months ago, prosecutors added murder charges to the criminal case of two North Carolina men who had been accused of raping a a 24 year old tourist who died of a fentanyl overdose while vacationing in Miami, Florida. One of them also sold the opioid to a Chicago man who was found unconscious on the street and died on March 20.

“These tragedies are now so widespread that drug traffickers can no longer deny responsibility for the risk of fentanyl in their product,” said Jeff Reisig, prosecutor for Yolo County, California, announcing in June a new policy from his office to seek more severe punishment.

“When people receive a DUI (a charge for driving drunk or drugged) we warn that DUIs can cause death, which becomes evidence if they later kill someone,” explained Resig about the ‘Watson Waiver’ measure that already applies. . “There should be a similar responsibility for those who sell narcotics knowing that their product could contain deadly fentanyl.”

In Yolo County there were eight deaths from this cause last year and recorded four deaths in the first half of 2021. One of the victims is Valentino Rodríguez, 30, who died at home after taking a drug mixed with fentanyl in October 2020.

“This can happen to anyone”

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is typically used to treat patients with severe chronic pain or ailments after surgery. It’s up to 100 times more powerful than traditional morphine and that makes it especially dangerous. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), deaths associated with this illegal substance were twelve times higher in 2019 than in 2013.

Its manufacturers, drug traffickers who operate clandestine laboratories Installed in warehouses, safe houses and in the Mexican highlands, they mix it to increase the potency of other drugs, such as ecstasy, methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine and fake oxycodone pills.

Thus happened the death of Alexandra Capelouto, a 20-year-old college student from Temecula, California, who died after consuming a fake oxycodone pill containing fentanyl. He bought it from a drug dealer who operated on the social network Snapchat. Alexandra’s parents have advocated for a new law requiring harsher sentences in cases for deaths resulting from fentanyl trafficking in the state.

The posters add fentanyl to other substances because it reduces the cost of production and the risks in border checks, since it is cheaper and is transported in small quantities. The problem is that your customers are dying because their production formulas are failing. Other times, the person who took a pill did not even know that it contained the substance.

Just 2 milligrams of fentanyl, which would fit on the tip of a pencil, can be lethal. The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) claims they have found counterfeit pills that had between 0.02 and up to 5.1 milligrams of fentanyl per pill, which is more than twice a lethal dose. 42% of the pills that have been analyzed by the agency contained at least 2 milligrams of fentanyl.

“Drug trafficking organizations usually distribute fentanyl by the kilogram. One kilogram of fentanyl has the potential to kill 500,000 people, ”warns a DEA report.

For the primary time in six years, the DEA issued in September a public security alert for what he categorised as a well being “crisis” generated by the proliferation of pretend tablets made with fentanyl. He cautioned that these tablets are simply obtainable to youngsters on social media.

More than 9.5 million tablets with fentanyl have been seized by the DEA in 2021, a quantity that exceeds what was seized within the final two years mixed.

According to Perla Martínez, whose son died a bit over a yr in the past in California, the homicide prices that drug traffickers are starting to face may also help them right their paths. “You are ruining the lives of families,” he claimed.

The subsequent one would be the second Christmas dinner that this girl will spend with out her son Daniel. “This can happen to anyone,” she stated, addressing different dad and mom. “I will never spend Christmas with him again.”


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