A multi-agency response
Attorney General Rob Bonta, with Gov. Gavin Newsom, has announced a new multi-agency operation in the fight against fentanyl within the city of San Francisco. The campaign is expected to extend to Southern California as well.
As part of the operation and its ongoing work to address the fentanyl crisis, the California Department of Justice (CADOJ) intends to provide legal expertise, assist in collaborative large-scale arrests and advise in multijurisdictional cases. The joint operation announced will serve as a collaborative effort between multiple agencies, including the DOJ, California Highway Patrol (CHP), and the California National Guard (CalGuard) personnel.
“The fentanyl crisis is a serious threat to public health and the safety of our communities — and addressing this crisis requires a multifaceted, collaborative approach,” Bonta said. “The California Department of Justice works every day to combat the fentanyl crisis, from seizing illicit fentanyl through our ongoing enforcement efforts bringing California billions of dollars through our lawsuits and investigative efforts to hold the opioid industry accountable. Shoulder to shoulder with our partners in this operation, we stand ready to provide legal expertise and assistance in prosecuting complex and multi-jurisdictional cases and protecting our communities from those who traffic deadly poison. The California Department of Justice is all-in when it comes to protecting California families from the dangers of fentanyl.”
Fentanyl is a powerful and potentially addictive synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin. A small amount of fentanyl, just two milligrams, can result in overdose and potentially death.
DOJ’s allied task forces are working actively with law enforcement partners throughout California to detect, deter, disrupt, and dismantle criminal fentanyl operations and prevent fentanyl from reaching neighborhoods and communities. Redently, Bonta announced the seizure of over four million fentanyl pills and almost 900 pounds of fentanyl powder, and over 200 arrests through the DOJ’s Bureau of Investigation’s work with allied task forces throughout California since April 2021.
DOJ’s on-the-ground work has touched many other communities including:
• Southern California, through the Los Angeles IMPACT Task Force, with nearly 2.3 million fentanyl pills and 762 pounds of powder seized and 121 suspects arrested.
• Inland Empire, through the Inland Crackdown Allied Task Force, with 790,000 pills and over 36 pounds of fentanyl powder seized and 25 suspects arrested.
• Central Valley, through the Merced Area Gang and Narcotics Enforcement Team, with 440,000 pills and 15 pounds of fentanyl powder seized and 18 suspects arrested, as well as the High Impact Investigation Team, with 488,000 pills and 47 pounds of fentanyl powder seized and 17 suspects arrested.
In addition to this enforcement work, Attorney General Bonta continues an all-in approach by advancing effective public policy and working with national partners to hold the opioid industry accountable for their role in creating the opioid crisis and its impacts. To date, the DOJ has secured over $32 billion through nationwide settlements, including $2 billion for California.