DEA Washington Holds Press Conference with D.C. Partners on Overdose Deaths in the District
Washington, D.C. -- Today, after significant arrests in the case, DEA Washington Division SAC Jarod Forget and D.C. Metropolitan Police (MPD) Chief Robert J. Contee III of the Metropolitan Police Department hosted a press conference on the recent string of fatal drug overdoses in the Nation’s Capital.
SAC Jarod Forget and ASAC Michael Rothermund attended with MPD Chief Contee, D.C Fire & EMS Chief John Donnelly and D.C. Department of Behavioral Health Director Barbara J. Bazron, PhD. The press conference was held in the same neighborhood where, just a few days prior, there were 10 overdoses and 3 fatalities attributed to fentanyl.
The press conference covered the recent overdose deaths, what the DEA and local partners are doing to combat drug-related violent crime and overdoses in Washington D.C., and to discuss resources for residents facing challenges due to substance use. This announcement and the involved cases are part of the DEA Washington’s Operation Overdrive initiative in Washington, D.C. Operation Overdrive aims to use a data-driven, intelligence-led approach to identify and dismantle criminal drug networks operating in areas with the highest rates of violence and overdoses.
These overdoses came the same week the DEA Washington Division announced “death resulting” charges for two people allegedly selling fentanyl that resulted in a woman’s death in D.C. in April. The two will face charges for the deaths resulting from the fentanyl they distribute -- the first time such a case has been prosecuted in the city.
“Even one death from drug overdose is one two too many. Causing this type of overdose is a violent crime - and we won’t stand for it,” said SAC Forget.
Recent CDC data show drug overdose deaths nationwide spiked 30% to more than 100,000. The Washington D.C. region has been particularly hard hit – seeing fatal drug overdoses rise by more than 40% across both D.C. and Virginia. This announcement comes as DEA Washington Division announced their strategy to combat the increasing drug overdoses across the city, and disproportionately among certain communities, where the DEA and MPD announced they will be targeting efforts.
“We are working to combat the problem in a number of new and innovative ways,” said SAC Jarod Forget. “We have been working with our partners across the region and have some incredible new programs and strategies we are rolling out this year. Those, combined with our already bolstered drug seizures and enforcement numbers, will help us stand up against this outrageous rise in the fentanyl we are seeing in our area.”