California families, lawmakers fight opiate abuse
A Sacramento woman was arrested Tuesday in what federal authorities say is an ongoing investigation in the the distribution of fentanyl and hydrocodone in the region.
An alarming number of Fentanyl-related deaths have been reported this year, including that of musician Prince. The dangerous opioid was also confirmed to be the cause of deaths in the Sacramento region.
A federal grand jury in Sacramento on Thursday returned a three-count indictment charging Mildred Dossman, 50, with possession with intent to distribute hydrocodone and fentanyl, distribution of hydrocodone and fentanyl, and using a cellphone to facilitate a drug trafficking offense, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office news release.
The indictment alleges that between June 18, 2015 and March 27, 2016, Dossman distributed hydrocodone and fentanyl in Sacramento County. She was arrested at her home Tuesday and arraigned by U.S. Magistrate Judge Kendall J. Newman.
Fentanyl is up to 50 times more potent than morphine, according to experts. Dealers cut it into other drugs for sale, a tactic that provides a stronger high and keeps addicts returning for more.
While fentanyl overdoses in the Sacramento region have tapered off, officials said that in mid-April 51 opioid overdose cases had been reported since late March, including 11 deaths - 10 in Sacramento County and one in Yolo County.
Toxicology reports have confirmed that eight of those deaths were related to fentanyl, a powerful opioid that drug officials said is on the rise in the black market. Fentanyl is considered to be 25 to 50 times more potent than heroin, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The investigation continues into fentanyl and hydrocodone distribution in the Sacramento region, authorities said. The federal Drug Enforcement Administration has established a tip line, and callers can remain anonymous. Anyone with information pertaining to the investigation is asked to call the tip line at (530) 722-7577.
This case resulted from an investigation by the DEA with assistance from the Sacramento County Coroner’s Office, Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office, Sacramento Police Department and the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office.