By Bethany Blankley (The Center Square)
Hays County, Texas resident Brandon Dunn lost his son to illegal fentanyl poisoning last year. Her son and two other teenage boys in the same rural county died of fentanyl overdoses less than 60 days apart.
Dunn testified before the US House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, which held its first hearing on “The Biden Border Crisis, Part One.” A second hearing will be held in Yuma, Arizona.
RELATED: Children under 14 are dying of fentanyl poisoning at a faster rate than other age groups
Co-founder of Dunn Forever 15 projectA nonprofit he and his wife founded after their son Noah died last August.
A high school sophomore, Noah “was killed by a drug dealer selling fake Percocet pills,” Dawn testified. There was no Percocet in the pill. Instead, it contained 8 milligrams of fentanyl, he said. Two milligrams is considered a lethal dose.
Noah is the first of three fentanyl victims in less than two months in the rural county southwest of Austin. Two other teenagers died last summer from counterfeit Xanax and Percocet pills containing illegal fentanyl, prompting the Hays County Independent School District to launch a campaign Educating parents and students about counterfeit prescription pills and illegal fentanyl. Nurses’ offices, local law enforcement agencies and other agencies in the county are stocked with NARCAN, the life-saving drug that can quickly reverse an opioid overdose.
Shortly thereafter, U.S. Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, who sits on the Judiciary Committee, worked with Boerne ISD. to produce A public service announcement warns parents and students about the dangers of illegal fentanyl.
“One pill kills,” he and others warn.
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Dunn cried throughout his testimony. He took issue with a comment by ranking member Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-New York, in his opening remarks, claiming that most drugs are being seized at ports of entry.
RELATED: Florida law enforcement officials seize enough fentanyl to kill the state’s entire population
As illegal fentanyl is smuggled across the southern border, Dunn said, “any amount smuggled in a backpack or a fanny pack or even someone’s pocket could be enough to kill thousands of people because of the lethality of this drug.
“This is not just a border checkpoint issue. Without immediate medical intervention, a person is unlikely to survive. That’s how fast it kills.”
In response to a question on the verdict, Dunn said a fourth teenager died in Hays County in January from fentanyl poisoning. During the Christmas break, six people were saved using Narcan; Another eight people were saved using NARCAN last summer.
Texas law enforcement officials working through Operation Lone Star told Center Square they’re more concerned about what’s coming through the ports of entry — quantities of drugs they’ve never seen before. Since March 2021, OLS officers alone have seized enough fentanyl at ports of entry and across Texas to kill everyone in the United States, and seizures and quantities continue to grow.
Dunn also testified about the tendency for young teenagers to die from illegal drugs.
“In our activism work we have seen many families who have lost their children to illegal fentanyl,” she said. “In the five months since Noah’s death, we have met 28 other families who have lost children to illegal fentanyl, including children as young as 13.
“For us, this is not a political issue,” he added. “This is about the safety of our children and the citizens of our country. We’re working with several lawmakers, primarily Democrats, to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
RELATED: Florida AG warns of ‘alarming’ new trend in fentanyl distribution
According to Information As analyzed by Families Against Fentanyl, children under 14 are dying at a faster rate from illicit fentanyl poisoning than any other age group.
Naloxone/NARCAN (generic/brand), a life-saving drug, is available in every state and the District of Columbia, accessible free and at low cost online, through various community organizations, and through pharmacies with or without a prescription. With or without insurance.
Syndicated with permission from Center Square.