Major Narcotics unit established in DA's office to target fentanyl dealers

As law enforcement officials continue cracking down on the ongoing drug battle in and around the Greater Houston Area, new strategies will be implemented to tackle the problem head-on. 

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Law enforcement officials joined together Wednesday afternoon to announce plans to target major fentanyl dealers. 

Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg will be joined by several partnering states, and local law enforcement investigators at the Criminal Justice Center on Franklin St. Wednesday at 2 p.m. to make the announcement. 

"Fentanyl, a powerful opioid up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine, caused nearly half of the 1,096 fatal overdoses in Harris County last year and 74% of those among 14- to 25-year-olds," the DA's office said in a press release. "The victims in such cases are often unaware they are taking illicitly manufactured fentanyl because of the increased presence of "counterfeit drugs."

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Among the top law officials included DEA Special Agent in Charge Daniel C. Comeaux, Harris Co. Sheriff Ed Gonzalez, Houston Police Chief Troy Finner, and Pasadena Police Chief Josh Bruegger, DA Liaison for the Houston Area Police Chiefs Association. 

During Wednesday's meeting, DA Ogg announced she would be creating a Major Narcotics unit within her office specifically tasked with working major cases with the partnering agencies. 

The primary goal behind the task force will be to target traffickers responsible for fentanyl overdoses for the most serious punishments, including murder charges when appropriate.  

"My staff meets nearly every day with the victims and families of this fentanyl epidemic, and these meetings are heartbreaking," Ogg said in a statement. "I am confident we can save lives by targeting the profiteers of death for the most severe punishment the law allows and diverting addicts into treatment instead of prison."


This comes on the heels of a seemingly increasing drug problem in Houston, where Fentanyl is the latest threat dominating headlines as well as law enforcement seizures. 

In December of last year, for example, the DEA announced an alarming number of seizures that officials told local media: "can kill potentially everyone in Houston and the surrounding areas."