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Alvarado-Gil Continues To Combat Organized Crime

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California State Senator Marie Alvarado-Gil (D-Jackson) has made strides in combating organized crime linked to the illegal fentanyl trade.

Alvarado-Gil was Friday’s KVML “Newsmaker of the Day”.

Last week, the Senate passed her bill, SB 226, with a vote of 36 to 0. This bill classifies the possession of fentanyl while carrying a loaded firearm as a felony. Previously, the law specifically listed methamphetamine, crack, cocaine, heroin, and PCP as drugs prohibited from simultaneous possession with a loaded firearm. SB 226 aims to rectify this oversight by acknowledging the inclusion of fentanyl, a substance more than 50 times more potent than heroin, on this list.

“I am grateful for the wisdom shown by my senatorial colleagues in supporting this important legislation,” expressed Alvarado-Gil. “Together, we are sending a message that California will continue to crack down on the fentanyl-dealing criminals who are killing our children, family, and friends.”

Senator Tom Umberg (D-Santa Ana) agrees, stating “SB 226 corrects an inconsistency in the law and protects Californians by ensuring that fentanyl dealers are treated the same as dealers of other illegal substances when armed with a loaded and operable firearm. As a former federal prosecutor, I understand the importance of this measure and am proud to be a coauthor of this bill.”

Fentanyl, even in minute doses, poses a lethal threat and has been infiltrating California through organized criminal networks, including drug cartels. These criminals produce pills that resemble pharmaceutical-grade opioids, often lacking proper quality control. Recently, they have introduced a dangerous variant known as “rainbow fentanyl” into circulation, specifically designed to entice children due to its candy-like appearance.

Initially, SB 226 faced obstacles when it was withdrawn from the Senate Public Safety Committee on March 28th due to insufficient support. However, Senator Alvarado-Gil’s determination prevailed, leading to the bill’s successful passage in the committee with a 5-0 vote, paving the way for it to proceed to the Senate Floor. From here, the bill will move to the Assembly Public Safety Committee for approval.

Representing the 4th Senate District, which includes Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Inyo, Madera, Mariposa, Merced, Mono, Nevada, Placer, Stanislaus, and Tuolumne counties, Senator Alvarado-Gil’s district and neighboring communities have witnessed the devastating consequences of fentanyl, much like numerous states across the country. Therefore, many public safety officials in her district support her efforts in introducing SB 226.

The “Newsmaker of the Day” is heard every weekday morning at 6:45, 7:45 and 8:45 on AM 1450 and FM 102.7 KVML.