Newsom Directs National Guard to Help Combat Fentanyl Crisis in San Francisco

Mimi Nguyen Ly
By Mimi Nguyen Ly
April 23, 2023California

California Gov. Gavin Newsom is directing the state’s National Guard to help find personnel and resources to combat fentanyl trafficking in San Francisco.

Newsom’s directive also applies to the California Highway Patrol (CHP). The move comes as part of a new partnership with the City of San Francisco in its ongoing efforts to deal with the fentanyl crisis.

Another two agencies—the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) and the San Francisco District Attorney’s office (SFDA)—are also joining to help disrupt the fentanyl supply and dismantle fentanyl trafficking in the city.

The four agencies seek to hold those in charge of the large-scale drug trafficking operations accountable.

“Two truths can co-exist at the same time: San Francisco’s violent crime rate is below comparably sized cities like Jacksonville and Fort Worth—and there is also more we must do to address public safety concerns, especially the fentanyl crisis,” Newsom said in a statement.

“Through this new collaborative partnership, we are providing more law enforcement resources and personnel to crack down on crime linked to the fentanyl crisis, holding the poison peddlers accountable, and increasing law enforcement presence to improve public safety and public confidence in San Francisco.”

The Democrat governor has directed the CHP to find ways to help the SFPD, including by assigning CHP personnel and resources to help them via technical assistance, training, and drug trafficking enforcement in key areas of San Francisco, which includes the Tenderloin.

The California National Guard has been directed to find specialist personnel and resources to help analyze drug trafficking operations. The focus will be on disrupting and dismantling fentanyl trafficking rings.

“Our Police Department and District Attorney have been partnering to tackle this issue and increase enforcement, but our local agencies can use more support,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed said in a statement. “With the Governor’s leadership and clear direction, our state enforcement agencies can partner with us to make a difference for our residents, businesses, and workers who are living with the impacts every day.”

According to Newsom’s office, the latest partnership “will not seek to criminalize those struggling with substance use and instead, focus on holding drug suppliers and traffickers accountable.”

The office noted there has been an “alarming rise” in deaths linked to fentanyl, including a more than 40 percent jump in overdose deaths from January through March.

A recent analysis by the San Francisco Chronicle showed that San Francisco had the second-highest overdose rate in the United States, and the second-highest death rate from fentanyl overdose in 2020.

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid up to 50 times more potent than heroin, and up to 100 times stronger than morphine. Manufacturers of illegal drugs add fentanyl to heroin, cocaine, methamphetamines, and other drugs to make the drugs more powerful and cheaper to produce.

China is “the primary source of fentanyl and fentanyl-related substances trafficked through international mail and express consignment operations, as well as the main source for all fentanyl-related substances trafficked into the United States,” the DEA said in its 2020 National Drug Threat Assessment report (pdf).

Two criminal drug networks—the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG)—supply most of the fentanyl in the United States.

Fentanyl remains the deadliest drug threat in the United States. According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 100,000 died of drug overdoses in the 12-month period ending in March, and synthetic opioids including fentanyl were involved in more than two-thirds of those deaths.

If you or someone you care about needs help or support, please call the Treatment helpline on 1-800-662-HELP (4357), or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on 1-800-273-TALK (8255). For information and resources, visit and

From The Epoch Times

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.