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San Francisco joins Operation Overdrive as drug overdoses reach critical point

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(The Center Square) – On Friday the city of San Francisco was designated an Operation Overdrive city following a request by Nancy Pelosi on April 27th to Attorney General Merrick Garland for the designation. The request was reiterated in a separate letter by California Governor Gavin Newsom on May 23.

The designation allows the state to access new federal resources to bolster state and local efforts.

“San Francisco’s fentanyl crisis needs attention — and now. We value your leadership in securing the support of the local authorities in San Francisco to partner with Drug Enforcement Agency, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We also appreciate your focus on the pressing issue of criminal networks distributing fentanyl in certain neighborhoods. We welcome the opportunity to work together on these important issues,” Assistant Attorney General Carlos Felipe Uriarte said.

Operation Overdriveis is a DEA program launched last year to combat drug-related violence and opioid overdose across America, by identifying and dismantling criminal drug networks in communities where the impact of drugs and the violence it creates, have reached a critical level.

Since its deployment, Operation Overdrive has revealed that almost all the criminal networks identified as those selling fentanyl and methamphetamine, are also networks engaged in violent gun crimes.

Newsom noted in his letter to Merrick that, “Despite significant investment in resources – state and local law enforcement personnel, state funding for overdose reversal medication, local street teams, and both state and local spending on public awareness – San Francisco still has the highest overdose rate of any jurisdiction in California.”

Despite a budgetary commitment by the governor of $1 billion to mobilize law enforcement, modernize California’s behavioral health-care system, provide reversal drugs, create law enforcement operational partnerships, and sign new gun laws, the fentanyl pouring across the Southwestern border seized by US Custom and Border Protection (CPB) is already more than half the amount for all of the last fiscal year.

Fentanyl seizures saw a steady rise from December peaking at 531 pounds in March, according to the CPB, and although there’s been a decline in April, the 1,500 pounds already seized for the year can kill hundreds of millions of Americans. A deadly dose of fentanyl is small enough to fit to the tip of a sharpened pencil, estimated at 2mg. One pound of fentanyl equals 226,796 deadly doses.

“Thanks to the leadership of Speaker Emerita Nancy Pelosi, San Francisco is now officially an Operation Overdrive jurisdiction, giving us more tools and resources to push back on the scourge of dangerous opioids in our communities. The fentanyl crisis knows no borders and we all must work together – at all levels of government – to shut down the poison pipeline and end this crisis of humanity on our streets,” Newsom stated.

On May 1, the California Highway Patrol seized enough fentanyl to potentially kill 2.1 million people, an indication that the fight is ongoing.

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