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Riverside sees spurt in fentanyl trafficking, cases of drug bust rise

Published On: 09-04-2017 in Category: addiction, drug bust, trafficking

Going by the national trend, fentanyl is projected to emerge as the deadliest drug, causing the maximum overdose related deaths in the United States in 2016. And the trend continues in 2017, including in places like Riverside. Weeks after a fentanyl lab was found in a home, the Murrieta Police Department’s Special Enforcement Team arrested a man from Lake Elsinore in western Riverside County during a traffic stop and recovered fentanyl, cocaine and drug paraphernalia from the car he was travelling in.

The drug bust happened on July 30 following a thorough search of the vehicle. The officers arrested 48-year-old James Lee of Sun City after he was pulled over near the Wal-Mart at 31700 Grape Street, a media report said. During the course of interrogation, Lee confessed carrying fentanyl in his car. A firearm and 100 rounds of ammunition were also recovered from the vehicle. Authorities revealed that Lee had a criminal past for 17 years and he was convicted for weapons and drug-related charges.

“A records check of Mr. Lee revealed an extensive criminal history dating back 17 years with convictions for weapons and narcotics related charges,” Murrieta Police Department’s Sergeant Scott Montez said in a statement. The accused was later booked into the Byrd Detention Center.

In the recent past, the Special Enforcement Team has been actively involved in monitoring the trend of fentanyl addiction and distribution activities in the area. The Drug Enforcement Agency had on July 7 busted a secret fentanyl lab at 4410 Elmwood Court. The Riverside Fire Department’s hazmat team had to be called to remove the products safely.

In June, the U.S. Border Patrol and the DEA agents had pulled over a car in Murrieta and seized nearly 35 pounds of fentanyl with an estimated street value of $1.18 million.

Fentanyl, a lethal drug

Fentanyl is one of the deadliest substances in the world, capable of inducing an intensely pleasurable and euphoric experience. It provides temporary relief from both physical and psychological sensations of pain but on a more potent scale that lasts far longer and the effects are 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times more powerful than morphine.

Unfortunately, drug dealers smuggle medical fentanyl, which is available in the market in the form of patches and lozenges, taking it to the streets where it is abused in a non-clinical setting. Fraudulent prescriptions and thefts are the major causes of fentanyl reaching the hands of wrong people. In recent years, fentanyl has earned the ill-repute of being the major driving force behind several overdose deaths in the U.S.

In the wake of the surge in fentanyl-related deaths, in March 2015, the DEA issued a nationwide alert on fentanyl and its analogues. Since July 17, 2015, acetyl fentanyl continues to be classified as a controlled substance in the U.S. under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. Also, the DEA is playing an active role in containing this crisis by illegal factories manufacturing counterfeit prescription pill across the country.

Combating menace of addiction

If you or your loved one is battling addiction to fentanyl or any other substance, seek treatment immediately. The Riverside Drug Treatment and Rehab Center can help you get one of the best addiction treatment programs and embrace sobriety. You may call at our 24/7 helpline number 951-221-4018 for more information on different treatment options in your vicinity.

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