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Man charged in Carlsbad fentanyl death, first prosecution of new task force

Fentanyl pills pictured from a seizure in San Diego, Sept. 14, 2018.
Office of the United States Attorney
Fentanyl pills pictured from a seizure in San Diego, Sept. 14, 2018.

A man has been charged by federal prosecutors with distributing fentanyl that caused another person's death in Carlsbad, in what is the first prosecution led by a newly formed task force targeting local fentanyl distributors, the U.S. Attorney's Office said Friday.

Jason Michael Bradford, 48, of San Diego, was arrested Oct. 12 after police found the victim identified only as M.R.S. dead earlier that day at a Carlsbad home. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, police were able to identify Bradford as the victim's source after investigating the scene.

Bradford is charged with one count of distribution of fentanyl, with the complaint filed against him alleging his drugs resulted in the death of M.R.S.

Bradford's prosecution is the first brought by the Fentanyl Abatement and Suppression Team — or FAST — a multi-agency effort created in September and led by Homeland Security Investigations.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, FAST's mission "is to identify and disrupt distribution networks in San Diego County that are responsible for fatal and non-fatal overdoses." The task force will work in partnership with the San Diego County District Attorney's Office, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Drug Enforcement Administration and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

In a statement, U.S. Attorney Randy Grossman said, "FAST is an important step in targeting drug dealers in San Diego County driving our unacceptable number of fatal fentanyl overdoses."

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