MCAO seeing record number of fentanyl-related prosecution cases
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -- Wendy and Roy Plunk lost their son Zacharia three years ago. The star football player at Hamilton High School was killed from an accidental fentanyl overdose. He was just 17 years old. “A neighbor found him in the yard, almost in the gutter, leaning up against the car,” said Roy.
It is a crisis leaders are desperately trying to get a handle on, and the numbers are staggering. According to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, fentanyl-related overdoses increased by 5,000% since 2015. In addition, new numbers show a record number of fentanyl-related prosecution cases at MCAO. In 2020, there were 923 cases submitted. Then in 2022, that number jumped to 6,626. So far this year, there have been more than 2,400 cases.
“I think one of the things that needs to be looked at is keeping these people in custody who are engaged in this so that they can’t flee or get back out on the streets and continue selling drugs,” said Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell.
The Plunk family hopes sharing their story saves others from experiencing their pain. They encourage parents to monitor their kids’ social media and have open conversations with them about the dangers of fentanyl. “You have to watch, fentanyl is everywhere. They are putting it in everything, so don’t take anything from anybody,” said Wendy.
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