Making San Francisco Safer: State Seizes Over 9 Million Lethal Doses of Fentanyl in 2023

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: State law enforcement seized over 40 pounds of fentanyl in San Francisco — over 9 million lethal doses of the drug — since a special operation began in May.

SAN FRANCISCO – Today Governor Gavin Newsom announced the California Highway Patrol (CHP) seized more than 40 pounds of fentanyl in the approximately 10-block radius of San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood since the state’s joint public safety partnership with the City of San Francisco began on May 1, 2023.

In addition to the seizure of 40 pounds of fentanyl (which equates to over 9 million lethal doses of the drug), the CHP has issued more than 4,468 citations leading to 428 arrests for illegal activity and recovered more than a dozen crime-linked guns as part of its operation in San Francisco.

WHAT GOVERNOR NEWSOM SAID: “We’re cleaning up San Francisco’s streets. Working alongside our local and federal partners, the CHP is seizing more drugs and more illegal guns and providing the safety and security every Californian deserves.”

CHP’s operation in San Francisco began on May 1, 2023, and consists of deployments of officers in multiple teams in the Tenderloin and immediately surrounding areas. In June, Governor Newsom announced he was doubling the number of CHP officers deployed to this effort in San Francisco and recently announced the formation of a new joint law enforcement task force to investigate opioid-linked deaths and poisonings in the city that will begin its work next year.

In addition to CHP’s daily efforts, the agency has contributed to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s “Operation Surge” and locally-led operations both targeting drug traffickers.

The CHP’s operation in San Francisco serves as a collaborative effort between multiple agencies, including the California National Guard (CalGuard), the California Department of Justice, the San Francisco Police Department, and the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office. The joint effort is focused on improving public safety, targeting fentanyl trafficking, disrupting the supply of the deadly drug in the city, and holding the operators of drug trafficking rings accountable. The operation builds on the Governor’s Master Plan for Tackling the Fentanyl and Opioid Crisis, which includes an expansion of CalGuard-supported operations that last year led to a 594% increase in seized fentanyl and historic levels of funding — $1 billion statewide — to crack down on the crisis.

B-roll footage of CHP’s operation in San Francisco is available for download and use by producers and members of the media here.