Fentanyl deaths in CO continue to rise and District Attorney wants new crime

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KFQX) — The deaths of five adults in Commerce City, Sunday(2/20) are confirmed caused by fentanyl, “No drug is safe right now,” Brian Mason, District Attorney for Adams and Broomfield Counties said.

The nation’s drug overdose epidemic continues to change and become worse. One prevailing theme is the fact that the epidemic now, is driven by fentanyl, “People who are taking drugs and not knowing that fentanyl is laced within them are dying,” Mason says.

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment data shows, the number of fentanyl-related deaths in our state nearly doubled in 2021.

Two months into 2022, fentanyl deaths continue to rise, “Tragically it appears that five of our citizens died because of it,” Mason said.

Adams and Broomfield Counties District Attorney Brian Mason described the emergency response as a “nightmare of a scene.”

Three women and two men were found dead inside the Commerce City apartment, another adult and a four-month-old baby were taken to the hospital, the baby is said to be okay.

In Colorado’s 21st judicial district, attorneys are sounding the alarm, “I don’t believe we’ve seen anything that parallels fentanyl in time as a prosecutor in terms of its availability and lethality,” Rich Tuttle, Mesa County Assistant District Attorney says.

Local attorneys aren’t acting alone, “We are looking forward to working with the legislature on a thoughtful package around how we can reduce fentanyl abuse and fentanyl deaths,” Governor Jared Polis said.

District Attorney, Dan Rubinstein and other state attorneys are backing the Governor’s package and are advocating for a new crime that carries a mandatory sentence of 12 to 32 years, for drug distribution resulting in death.

But they aren’t stopping there, “The other thing we are seeking to do through behavioral health with one time funds is established additional addiction recovery in, in-patient beds, folks that could be there two to three months to help them overcome the cycle of addiction and we are expecting that will be approved by the legislature as well,” Governor Polis says.

Source: Grand Junction Local News | Fentanyl deaths in CO continue to rise and District Attorney wants new crime