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Home » PRESS RELEASE: PARENTS OF CHILDREN LOST TO FENTANYL POISONING CALL ON BOOKER TO DROP OBJECTIONS TO FENTANYL SCHEDULING 

PRESS RELEASE: PARENTS OF CHILDREN LOST TO FENTANYL POISONING CALL ON BOOKER TO DROP OBJECTIONS TO FENTANYL SCHEDULING 

Summary: Parents of children lost to fentanyl poisoning are calling on Senator Cory Booker to end his longstanding blockade of bipartisan policy to control Fentanyl-Related Substances (FRS).

WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 27, 2022). Parents of children lost to fentanyl poisoning are calling on Senator Cory Booker to end his longstanding blockade of bipartisan policy to control Fentanyl-Related Substances (FRS). Temporary scheduling of FRS is set to expire soon, and parents are sounding off on the lone holdout blocking the policy in open letters.

The parents shared their stories of loss and addressed the flawed and evolving arguments Senator Booker has given to justify his objections to FRS scheduling. The letters were collected by Victims of Illicit Drugs (VOID), a group dedicated bringing to the public’s attention, through education, awareness and legislative advocacy, the immediate danger of sudden death associated with the use of illicit drugs, in particular fentanyl, and other emerging synthetic analogs.

“Unlike your imagined defendant, my son was real,” wrote Jaime Puerta, President of VOID. “I am not the only parent who lost a child to fentanyl poisoning. Enclosed are letters from other parents who want you to know about their children. Like Daniel, they had hobbies and interests and families who miss them. These very real children deserve to have their interests placed above your made-up defendant. Please withdraw your objection to FRS scheduling. 

Prosecuting fentanyl distributors has become increasingly difficult. Because fentanyl is made from chemicals, instead of plants, batches of the drug can be easily tweaked to create variations of fentanyl that technically fall outside of the Controlled Substance Act. Cartels are able to manufacture these variations faster than the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) can schedule them. These variations are termed “FRS.” To solve this problem, the DEA temporarily scheduled FRS as schedule I controlled substances in 2017. After FRS scheduling went into effect law enforcement encounters of FRS plummeted. Congress later extended FRS scheduling multiple times, at times unanimously. But now, the provision is set to expire at the end of the year and it has one vocal objector: Senator Booker. 

Senator Booker claims that FRS scheduling may cast too broad a net and capture individuals peddling substances that do not actually produce a “pharmacological effect.” 

But parents aren’t buying Senator Booker’s objection for a simple reason: “drug use is driven by the pursuit of a pharmacological effect.” In response to Senator Booker’s hypothetical defendant, parents are writing Senator Booker about their very real children who died from fentanyl poisoning. They’re hoping their stories will educate Senator Booker about the realities of fentanyl poisoning so that he will withdraw his objection to FRS scheduling. 

Read the letters to Senator Booker

Jaime Puerta is a United States Marine Corps Veteran, and the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Puerta & Associates, Inc.; a small Interpreting business that specializes in furnishing Certified Interpreters to Attorneys, Doctors, and Courts working within the Workman’s Compensation field in the State of California. He resides in Santa Clarita, California, with his wife Claudia. Jaime is also the President of V.O.I.D., "Victims Of Illicit Drugs", a California 501C non-profit dedicated to educating parents and children about the dangers of illicit drug use, and also about the dangers that abound on social media platforms. Jaime also sits on the Advisory Board of A.C.C.O. "The Alliance To Counter Crime Online". Jaime became involved in the fight against Fentanyl when his only son Daniel passed away due to Fentanyl Poisoning on April 6, 2020.

Jaime is an avid Harley Davidson enthusiast and rides his motorcycles whenever time permits him to do so.

Steve Filson was raised in Huntington Beach and has been a resident of San Bernardino since 1976 when he relocated there after his service in the U.S. Air Force. He retired in 2009 after a 31-year career with the San Bernardino County Sheriff and San Bernardino Police Department. Steve is the owner of a private security company and is a staff member of the Public Safety Academy, a public charter school in San Bernardino.|

Most importantly, Steve is Jessica’s Dad. Jessica was his 29-year-old daughter killed in Redlands on January 22, 2022, along with her boyfriend, Nicholas, due to fentanyl poisoning. Steve lives in Highland, California, with his wife, Cheri, and their five-year-old granddaughter, Elara. He and other bereaved parents formed V.O.I.D., “Victims of Illicit Drugs,” as a California non-profit corporation and dedicate their efforts to education and awareness of this fentanyl scourge confronting our society.

Rocklin, CA resident Chris Didier lost his 17-year-old son, Zachary Didier, to fentanyl two days after Christmas in 2020. Zach was an Eagle Scout, soccer player, and beloved member of the community who had no history of drug use. Chris Didier has dedicated himself to raising awareness of the dangers of fentanyl, and has no doubt saved the lives of many students like Zach through his efforts. 

During his 22-year military career, Lt. Col. Didier flew the C-21 and F-15E. He currently flies the Boeing 787 for United Airlines.