Modesto sees 4 suspected fentanyl overdose deaths in 12-hour period

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Officials might expect one death every 2 or 3 days from the drug, but to have four in 12-hours, is an “extraordinary” occurrence.

MODESTO, Calif. — Four people died in suspected fentanyl overdoses in four different areas of Modesto. And it all happened in a 12-hour period.

“When we have this number of deaths in such a short period, we don’t think that that’s just some random anomaly; we know that there’s something which has suddenly changed,” said Patrick Hogan, deputy district attorney for Stanislaus County.

While initially reported as a 24-hour period on the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Facebook page on Friday, Hogan said the actual timetable was closer to a 12-hour period. 

“To lose people at that rate means that something could be poisoning a supply of drugs where people don’t suspect it. That could mean that a shipment of bad drugs like bad pills, bad cocaine, that have suddenly entered the drug supply,” said Hogan. “It can also mean that there is an especially potent batch of fentanyl, which users of fentanyl are overdosing on.”

The cases themselves happened in different areas of Modesto, meaning this wasn’t a situation where the four people were at a party, Hogan said. Two of the deaths are currently under investigation by law enforcement.

“We can’t say that all four of these deaths are related to the same dealer or the same drug or the same use pattern. But what we do know is that fentanyl has not only poisoned the drug supply, but really poisoned our community. And the fact that we’re losing people like this still, years into this crisis, is a tragedy,” said Hogan.

That tragedy is part of the reason why the district attorney’s office issued the warning on their Facebook page, calling on people to not do drugs, to keep Narcan available and to help spread awareness of about fentanyl dangers.

For Hogan, four deaths in a 12-hour period isn’t acceptable.

“I’m worried that it seems to me that people are starting to accept that we’re going to lose people every couple of days or every day, that can’t happen. I get worried when I feel like people are accepting that this is the normal and when people are thinking that this is not going to affect them,” he said.

Fentanyl is a drug that has the potential to impact anyone, sometimes through the loss of a loved one, and it’s something Hogan said people need to be aware of. 

“That’s the thing about this drug. It’s not just affecting people that are out there using the drug. It’s not just affecting addicts. It’s a drug which makes its way into drug supplies for young people who have no defenses and no recognition of the of the danger that they’re in, when they get handed a pill, or maybe try to experiment with a drug that they get from some friends,” Hogan said.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.