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News Too Real: There were more fentanyl drug overdoses and deaths during the COVID-19 pandemic

Producer host Julia Dudley Najieb reviews the fentanyl epidemic in California


By ONME Newswire



News Too Real April 4, 2022: In episode 5 of season 4, producer host Julia Dudley Najieb reviews the Tuesday, May 3, 2022, Special Elections in Livermore along with discussing the crucial headline concerning the fentanyl epidemic in California.
In part 2, Dudley Najieb will review the statistics concerning the increase of fentanyl use and overdoses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

FRESNO, CA -- U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert and Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent in Charge Tatum King announced the results of an investigation into fentanyl-related overdoses in the Fresno area, which resulted in charges against of a total of 18 drug traffickers, charging them with trafficking fentanyl powder, fentanyl pills, cocaine, and methamphetamine.


According to court documents, the investigation began after a series of fentanyl-pill overdoses in the Fresno area. These overdoses were caused by counterfeit oxycodone M30 tablets containing fentanyl, referred to on the street as M30s. Similar to authentic oxycodone M30 tablets, they are small, round, and light blue or green in color with “M” stamped on one side and “30” on the other. The investigation, dubbed “Operation Killer High,” aimed to search for the drug dealers believed to have supplied the toxic pills that caused the recent spike in fentanyl-related overdoses. The operation uncovered a large drug-trafficking ring led by Horacio Torrecillas Urias Jr., the self-proclaimed “M30 king of Fresno.”


According to the criminal complaint, Torrecillas Urias Jr. was obtaining, directly from sources in Mexico, tens of thousands of counterfeit M30 fentanyl pills and large quantities of fentanyl powder, cocaine and methamphetamine. He and his co-defendants were then distributing these illicit narcotics to drug dealers inside and outside of California. During the investigation, federal, state, and local law enforcement agents conducted traffic stops, intercepted packages, and executed residential search warrants that resulted in the recovery of over 55,000 M30 fentanyl pills, 6 pounds of fentanyl powder, 10 pounds of methamphetamine, a pound of cocaine, 25 firearms, and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.


San Francisco Gate news article: A group of mothers is calling on San Francisco city officials to crack down on people openly dealing and using drugs on city streets with a bold message that went up in Union Square on Monday afternoon.


Mothers Against Drug Deaths paid for a billboard that reads: "Famous the world over for our brains, beauty and now, dirt-cheap fentanyl.”


The message is referring to the opiate that has flooded the city's street drug marketplace in recent years, intensifying the peril of addiction and leading to a staggering number of overdose deaths.


Fentanyl is a potent synthetic opioid that can be up to 100 times more powerful than morphine, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says. A respiratory depressant, the drug can impact a user's ability to breathe.


The drug was created in the 1960s to manage pain after surgery, and its clinical use expanded in the 1990s with the introduction of the extended release patch that is typically used to treat advanced cancer pain. Illicit fentanyl started appearing on San Francisco streets in 2018, and is often mixed with other drugs such as heroin and cocaine to increase potency.


News Too Real Podcast 4-4-22 Headlines:


World


The visit to Jamaica by Prince William and Kate, the Duke, and Duchess of Cambridge is significant but could not have come at a worse time for the couple. Both the Government and the opposition party are putting their best faces on display, in a show of diplomacy to avoid embarrassment.

While there is reason to believe that good relations exist between Jamaica and the UK, there are burning issues to be ironed out by Jamaica House and Buckingham Palace that could sully the relationship in the near future.

Chief among the grievances from Jamaica is the desire to have the United Kingdom pay for the atrocities caused by the British slave trade between 1655 and 1809. More than 600,000 persons were taken from Africa to work on sugar plantations and had to endure unbearable hardships and inhumane treatment in Jamaica.



National


The complaint against North American Automotive Services, Inc. (also known as Ed Napleton Automotive Group) alleges that eight of its dealerships and the general manager of two Illinois dealerships illegally tacked on junk fees for unwanted “add-on” products such as payment insurance and paint protection. The illegal junk fees cost consumers hundreds or even thousands of dollars.


According to the complaint, the dealerships would often wait until the end of the hours-long negotiation process to sneak junk fees for add-on products and services into consumers’ purchase contracts, which often run as long as 60 pages. These junk fees were often added despite consumers specifically declining the add-ons or having confirmed prices that did not include the add-ons. In other cases, the consumers were falsely told the add-ons were free or were a requirement to purchase or finance their vehicle.


A survey cited in the complaint showed that 83 percent of buyers from the dealerships were charged junk fees for add-ons without authorization or as a result of deception. One consumer cited in the complaint reported that the dealership located in Arlington Heights, Ill., charged him for nearly $4,000 in add-on fees after he’d paid a similar amount in down payment.

The complaint also alleges that the Napleton dealerships discriminated against Black consumers in connection with financing vehicle purchases. Napleton employees had wide latitude to increase the cost of a consumer’s loan by increasing the amount paid in interest or adding add-ons to the final contract.

According to the complaint, Black customers at the dealerships were charged approximately $190 more in interest and paid $99 more for similar add-ons than similarly situated non-Latino White customers.



California


Goodman has an extensive law enforcement experience of more than 31 years. He previously served as chief of police for 4 years in the city of Upland, where he was also the first Black police chief.

Before becoming chief in Upland, he had been with the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department for 27 years. He is also an adjunct professor at Cal State San Bernardino.

Now, Goodman is set to assume his post in San Bernardino on June 1, where he will lead the department with 262 sworn officers and 150 civilian staff.

Goodman’s first step as a chief of police in San Bernardino is to connect the police department with the community by paying attention to their concerns.

 

Viewers can watch the News Too Real video podcast online at scheduled times 7:00 PM and 7:00 AM PST or on-demand via OTT channels Roku and Amazon Fire TV.

 
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