San Diego, CA–The United States Attorney’s Office and Homeland Security Investigations announced the creation of, and the first case brought by, the newly formed Fentanyl Abatement and Suppression Team in partnership with the District Attorney’s Office, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Drug Enforcement Administration and Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Formed in September 2022, the group known as “FAST” is a multi-agency task force led by Homeland Security Investigations working in conjunction with state and local agencies to target significant fentanyl distributors in San Diego County. FAST’s mission is to identify and disrupt distribution networks in San Diego County that are responsible for fatal and non-fatal overdoses. FAST will support and provide additional resources to build upon the work of the already-existing DEA’s Overdose Response Team (formerly known as Team 10) to ensure that the most significant fentanyl dealers and those who sell deadly doses of fentanyl face prosecution.
Federal authorities brought their first FAST prosecution. James Michael Bradford, 48, was arraigned before U.S. Magistrate Judge Karen Crawford on a single count of distribution of fentanyl. The complaint alleges that Bradford distributed fentanyl resulting in the death of a victim identified in court records as M.R.S.
On October 12, Carlsbad Police found the victim at a home in Carlsbad. After investigating the scene, law enforcement identified Bradford as M.R.S.’s source of supply, and they arrested Bradford later that day. Following his arraignment, Bradford was detained. Bradford’s next court date is a preliminary hearing set for November 3.
“FAST is an important step in targeting drug dealers in San Diego County driving our unacceptable number of fatal fentanyl overdoses,” according to U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman. “Together with our state and federal partners, our office will prosecute those engaging in this deadly trade.”
“The creation of FAST brings collaboration between law enforcement to a new level in the fight against fentanyl overdoses and the ongoing work being done to save lives across San Diego County,” said San Diego County District Attorney Summer Stephan. “Addressing the fentanyl overdose epidemic in our community remains a priority for my office through prosecution, prevention, and education.”