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Press Release

U.S. Attorney’s Office For The Middle District Of Pennsylvania Recognizes The Second Annual National Fentanyl Awareness Day

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

SCRANTON – The safety and wellbeing of our community is always of utmost importance, which is why the U.S. Attorney’s Office is publicizing the second annual National Fentanyl Awareness Day on Tuesday, May 9, 2023.  This day is an effort to educate individuals around the dangerous threat that fentanyl poses to the safety of our communities.

United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam is raising public awareness about an urgent problem: people are dying at alarming rates due to illicitly manufactured fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid that is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 150 people die every day from overdoses related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl.  

The U.S. Attorney’s Office is working every day to shut down drug traffickers and remove these drugs from our communities. Most recently, our office prosecuted Tarik Wilson, age 24, of Bensalem, PA, who was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison for conspiring to distribute fentanyl in Burks and Lebanon Counties, and for distributing fentanyl that resulted in the deaths of two individuals.

The Middle District also recently prosecuted brothers Jose Raymer Tejeda, age 38, and Edwin Tejeda, age 32, both of Wilkes-Barre, PA, who were sentenced to 188 months of imprisonment each, for running a drug trafficking conspiracy that distributed significant quantities of fentanyl and cocaine in the Wilkes-Barre region.  One of the brother’s coconspirators distributed fentanyl to an individual who subsequently sold it to an individual who shortly after ingesting the fentanyl, overdosed, and died.

To mark National Fentanyl Awareness Day, a coalition of businesses, nonprofits and experts came together to create a series of one-hour virtual webinars with issue-area experts that will speak on an array of topics related to the illicit fentanyl crisis.  All sessions are free of charge and open to the public. The series will include:

  • What Parents Need to Know About Fentanyl Poisonings and Overdoses Time: 12-1p ET
  • Fentanyl in Party Drugs: Harm Reduction Strategies Time: 1:30-2:30p ET
  • The Illicit Fentanyl Crisis: Different Paths to Common Ground Time: 3-4p ET
  • How Fentanyl Really Shows Up in Our Communities  Time: 4:30-5:30p ET
  • Predictable Patterns of Drug Overdose Deaths: Does Fentanyl Follow the Rules?  Time: 6-7p ET

If you if you or someone you know is struggling with addiction there is help.  Please contact the National Rehab Hotline at 1-866-210-1303 that is available around the clock, 365 days a year to help you through a substance abuse or mental health crisis.

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Updated March 20, 2024