- LAPD Chief Michel Moore told the police commission that the available supply of fentanyl causes overdoses and deaths; in the Los Angeles area, two Hispanic teens have died from using fentanyl in recent weeks
After the recent drug overdose deaths of Hispanic teens, the chief of the Los Angeles Police Department declared that fentanyl has become the number 1 threat to the United States.
“The number one threat to the country is fentanyl. The available supply of this is leading to overdoses and deaths,” Chief Michel Moore said.
Last week, Melanie Ramos, 15, died at a Hollywood high school after taking a cheap knockoff pill laced with fentanyl, a death that shocked the community.
A week earlier, 14-year-old Luna Hinojosa had fentanyl pills within her reach and also died of an overdose. The Hispanic was studying at Nogales High School, in the city of La Puente, in Los Angeles County.
The LAPD chief made the comment during a meeting with the police commission on Tuesday and provided some grim statistics.
According to the US Drug Enforcement Administration, fentanyl is 100 times stronger than morphine.
Moore mentioned that these days a large portion of the opioid pills offered in Los Angeles are laced with fentanyl, a potentially deadly drug.
“The department (LAPD) continues to seize tens of thousands of pills and pounds and pounds of fentanyl,” Moore said.
According to DEA data, it only takes two milligrams of fentanyl for it to become a lethal dose. One pound of this deadly drug contains 454,000 milligrams.
Ramos died in a bathroom at Bernstein High School in Hollywood, and investigators said she and a friend of hers had bought the pills on her school campus.
No further information was disclosed about the death of Luna Hinojosa. The Rowland Unified School District said no further details could be released because she was a minor.
Moore said that just last week, five other youths also overdosed on fentanyl-laced drugs in the area near Bernstein High School, but the students managed to survive.