The dangerous synthetic opioid Fentanyl is in Lassen County, and the sheriff says there have been multiple overdoses and deaths.
The drug is 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the CDC. Sheriff Growden says there has been an uptick in cases involving fentanyl over the last few years, primarily seen in pill form. Growdon adds that it is also common in the jail and coming in through inmate mail. Growdon explains the drug can be dabbed onto paper and sent in letters to inmates. The results have been deadly, but it has been a standard issue for deputies to carry the type of antidote Narcan to help save lives. Nearly a dozen were saved in the jails with its use.
Growden says the community needs to be aware of the deadly effects of fentanyl.
The DA’s office has just announced the sentencing of a Local Man to State Prison for Transporting Fentanyl and Unlawful Firearm Possession. 31-year-old Kenneth James Owens was sentenced to 4 years and eight months for transporting fentanyl to sell and being a felon with a firearm.
CHP stopped Owens for having expired and false registration tags in August. Officers found 200 grams of Fentanyl, pills, and a homemade handgun.
The DA’s office says that selling Fentanyl can carry heavy consequences, resulting in murder charges if someone dies due to a transaction.
To provide further community education, the DA office plans to partner with the Lassen County Sheriff and local schools to launch a fentanyl lethality awareness campaign, which aims to educate the community about the dangers of the drug. You can educate yourself and others by visiting dea.gov.