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On Fentanyl Awareness Day, California Announces 7,100 Pounds of Fentanyl & Nearly 3.4 Million Fentanyl Pills Seized Since January 2024

Saving numerous lives from fentanyl poisoning

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Since the start of the year, the state’s Counterdrug Task Force has helped law enforcement agencies seize 7,100 pounds of fentanyl and more than 3.4 million fentanyl pills across California, including at ports of entry along the border.

SACRAMENTO — In recognition of National Fentanyl Awareness Day, Governor Gavin Newsom today announced the California National Guard’s Counterdrug Task Force assisted in the seizure of an estimated 7,100 pounds of fentanyl and more than 3.4 million fentanyl pills statewide since the start of the year, including at ports of entry and along the border.

WHAT GOVERNOR NEWSOM SAID: “As we recognize the serious dangers of illegal fentanyl, California is continuing to tackle this issue head-on. Our efforts are getting this poison off our streets and out of our communities as we continue to support people struggling with substance use.”

A graphic with a blue background and white and orange lettering that says: Since January 2024, 7,100 pounds of fentanyl and nearly 3.4 million fentanyl pills seized

In March alone, the Counterdrug Task Force, with the help of state, local and federal partners, helped seize over 5,000 pounds of fentanyl and nearly 1.3 million fentanyl pills.

“The CalGuard is committed to supporting our state, federal, local and tribal law enforcement partners to eliminate the scourge of fentanyl,” said CalGuard Major General Matthew Beevers. “The State’s unprecedented investment in our Counterdrug Task Force is delivering significant, measurable interdiction results, denying operating capital to transnational criminal organizations while making our state safer.”

May 7 is recognized nationally as Fentanyl Awareness Day to provide information about the serious dangers of fentanyl poisoning from fake pills and other illicit drugs.

CALIFORNIA’S LEADERSHIP: 

California has worked to improve public safety in a number of ways. The Governor’s Master Plan for Tackling the Fentanyl and Opioid Crisis provides a comprehensive framework to deepen the impact of these investments, including aggressive steps to support overdose prevention efforts, hold the opioid pharmaceutical industry accountable, crack down on drug trafficking, and raise awareness about the dangers of opioids, including fentanyl.

The state recently announced progress in cracking down on fentanyl in communities across the state, including San Francisco.

Last year, the Governor increased the number of CalGuard service members deployed to interdict drugs at U.S. ports of entry along the border by approximately 50%. The operations CalGuard supported resulted in the record seizure of 62,224 pounds of fentanyl in 2023 — a 1066% increase since 2021. CalGuard’s coordinated drug interdiction efforts in the state are funded in part by California’s $30 million investment to expand CalGuard’s work to prevent drug trafficking by transnational criminal organizations. Fentanyl is primarily smuggled into the country by U.S. citizens.

In support of President Biden’s bilateral cooperation agreement with China on counternarcotics, the Governor spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping in October about combating the transnational shipping of precursor chemicals used to create fentanyl.