Governor Doubles National Guard Deployment To Fight Fentanyl

( – Fentanyl is a major problem in the United States. It has been responsible for tens of thousands of overdose deaths in each of the last few years, and authorities have been grappling with how to handle it. One Democratic governor is now taking additional steps to prevent it from taking over communities in his state.

On June 13, California Governor Gavin Newsom’s office announced in a news release that he was nearly doubling his state’s deployment of National Guard service members. The guards will head to multiple destinations throughout the state, including ports of entry. The increase brings the number of service members working on Counter Drug Taskforce operations from 155 to 392. That figure was originally 30 back in 2022.

The Guardsmen will engage in efforts “to combat transnational criminal organizations and the trafficking of illegal narcotics.” This includes fentanyl.

Newsom recently traveled to the border, where he was able to view the progress the state’s forces have made. The task force has a variety of duties its officers carry out, including gathering information that helps them intercept drug trafficking missions, offering support at border entry points, and using ground and air assets to aid in criminal investigations.

Data from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) shows that most of the fentanyl trafficked into the United States is done through US citizens, not migrants. CalGuard operations were responsible for seizing 62,224 pounds of the synthetic opioid last year. This year, they have helped get nearly 6 million pills off the streets, but it continues to be a persistent problem.

Fentanyl is especially dangerous because of its potency. It’s 100 times stronger than morphine and up to 50 times stronger than heroin, another opioid that’s responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths. Just a tiny amount can kill someone and many times, they’re unaware that they are taking the drug.

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