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Orange County man guilty of distributing synthetic drugs
Recently, an Orange County drug ring kingpin pleaded guilty in the federal court for his alleged involvement in the smuggling and distribution of more than $12 million worth of analogue drugs. Sean Libbert, 41, of Newport Beach, was convicted by Santa Ana federal court for in 2014 for the suspicion of conspiring to manufacture, possessing with intent to distribute and distributing controlled substance analogues.
The arrest was the result of a three-year-long investigation, by the Los Angeles HIDTA (High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area) Southern California Drug Task Force, into the smuggling of controlled substance analogues in the United States. As part of his modus operandi, Libbert started multiple companies, opened multiple bank accounts and private mailboxes, and used different websites to sell drugs. As per the 16-count indictment filed in June 2014, one victim was nearly killed by ingesting some of these analogue drugs.
According to the United States Attorney for the Central District of California, Eileen M. Decker, “The investigation in this case revealed that this defendant controlled an organization that was one of the largest importers and distributors of dangerous, synthetic drugs in the nation.”
Orange County records largest number of fatal overdoses
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “opioid abuse and overdose fatalities is a national epidemic, claiming 78 lives in the country each and every day”. A minimum of 400 fatal drug overdose cases occurred in Orange County last year, which represented a 6 percent increase since 2014 and approximately 63 percent rise from 2005, as per the Orange County coroner information statistics. According to recent estimates, there have been nearly 1800 fatal overdose cases in the past five years, with a majority of them related to the nationwide opioid abuse epidemic.
Most of the drugs abused in the county are either natural or artificial derivatives of poppy, which are highly addictive and life-threatening. Moreover, there has been a widespread use of illicitly manufactured opioids such as heroin, along with prescription opioids such as OxyContin, Vicodin and Percocet, across the country.
Battling the menace
An Orange County coalition of various health insurance companies, law enforcement agencies, public health agencies, hospitals and medical centers is actively collecting drug overdose data from every county in California to monitor and fight the menace. Promotion of safe practices for prescribing opioid medicines, apart from increasing access to the opioid-overdose-reversal drug naloxone is the primary objective of this coalition.
Further, the Orange County Needle Exchange Program has been on a clean-needle-distribution drive to curb the insidious intravenous drug use prevalent in the area. Experts believe that an increased awareness of the dangers of substance use, abuse, dependence and overdose is the key to restore sobriety in the county.
Getting drug-free is possible
If you or your loved one is grappling with addiction, seek medical help from the Orange County Drug Treatment and Rehab Center. Our certified addiction advisors can assist you in getting the best treatment options that can help you get drug-free. You can call us at our 24/7 helpline number 714-202-4669 for more information.