One Pill Kills campaign heads to schools as Texas senators vote to increase penalties for fentanyl distribution

Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 6:20 PM CDT
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SHERMAN, Texas (KXII) - The Texas Department of Public Safety reported seizing more than 353 million lethal doses of fentanyl since March 2021.

As Texas legislators tackle the illegal distribution of the drug, some prosecutors are warning potential targets - our children.

“We just love our kids,” said Kevin Matthews. “We do everything to try to keep our kids safe, and that’s why we’re being proactive on this.”

A line in the sand is being drawn at Grayson county schools to protect students from fentanyl.

“The reason we’re here is because we’re seeing it,” said Brett Smith, the Grayson County district attorney. “Grayson County’s not immune to these overdose deaths.”

Local prosecutors are reaching some of the youngest targets of the deadly drug - middle and high school students.

On Monday, they stopped at Pottsboro ISD.

“It’s starting to affect more of the kids with the 18 and under,” said Matthews.

“They are a little more susceptible to taking pills,” said Assistant United States Attorney Maureen Smith. “They’ve grown up taking pills- Tylenol, Advil, things like that.”

Texas Senator Drew Springer said fentanyl kills four Texans every day.

He voted for a bill increasing the penalty for the sale and production of fentanyl.

“They’re essentially calling it a poison which makes it a weapon, which makes the penalty higher,” said Maureen Smith.

Fentanyl as poison would allow prosecutors to charge for murder, but prosecutors said they can’t win this fight without the help of Grayson County’s youngest generation.

“We can not, as prosecutors, prosecute our way out of this problem,” said Maureen Smith. “We need their help in making smart choices and having their friends make smart choices.”

Prosecutors will head to S&S Consolidated ISD Thursday to keep the fight against fentanyl going.

Below is the full statement from Senator Drew Springer:

“Since the beginning of Operation Lone Star, the Texas Department of Public Safety has seized over 353 million lethal doses of fentanyl. On average, fentanyl is killing four Texans every day. I voted for SB 645 because it will ensure that we can efficiently prosecute and crack down on these fentanyl dealers who are intentionally poisoning Texans.”