Authorities are facing an added enemy in the war on drugs, having recently turned their attention to fentanyl, one of the most powerful painkillers used for medical treatment. Unfortunately, a California county has seen 52 overdoses, 12 of which were fatal, in a short period of time. As a result, authorities are likely eager to show progress in the fight against illegal use of the drug. In fact, one woman was recently indicted on federal drug charges.
Because prosecutors say releasing details of the woman's alleged crimes would compromise covert operations, many of the details regarding the accusations against her are unclear. However, prosecutors say that she worked to traffick fentanyl and hydrocodone into one California county from June 2015 to March 2016. She faces multiple charges, including distribution and possession with the intent to distribute. If convicted, she could face a $1 million fine and 20 years in prison.
The issues surrounding the use of fentanyl are seen across the country, not just in California. A report from the Drug Enforcement Administration indicates that 700 people died in approximately a year due to the use of fentanyl or related drugs. These statistics likely spur on federal officials' desire to make arrests related to the powerful drug.
With the number of alleged overdoses in such a short period of time, it is understandable that federal authorities as well as those in California are anxious to make arrests to show progress. However, such eagerness can often result in arrests that are not supported by evidence. Because of this, those facing drug charges often hire an experienced defense attorney who can review the evidence against them and help plan the most appropriate response.
Source: Los Angeles Times, "Woman accused of trafficking fentanyl to Sacramento County following wave of overdose deaths", Joseph Serna, July 20, 2016