A tainted batch of fentanyl-laced cocaine killed comedian Fuquan Johnson and two other victims and left comedian Kate Quigley hospitalized on Sunday night, amid a growing crisis of fentanyl surging across the southern border.
— New York Post (@nypost) September 6, 2021
Johnson and fellow comedians Enrico Colangeli and Natalie Williamson died at a Venice home on Sunday as the result of an apparent overdose, TMZ reported. In a screenshot shared to Twitter, Quigley, former girlfriend of singer-songwriter Darius Rucker, told a friend she was “not great” but was “Ok.”
Hug everyone you love.. pic.twitter.com/OFzr0EgRPJ
— brian redban (@redban) September 5, 2021
Quigley remains in critical condition, according to sources close to the star.
Fentanyl has been flooding the border for years. Between October 2020 and April 2021, border agents seized almost 6,500 pounds of the lethal drug. In June, federal agents at the southern border said they had seen a shocking 4,000 percent increase in fentanyl seizures over the last three years.
The highly potent drug has become a profitable enterprise for Mexican drug cartels who can easily smuggle the substance into the United States. Multiple reports of fentanyl-laced oxycodone and other drugs have surfaced, causing suspicion of drug-related deaths. The spike in overdose deaths from 2019 to 2020 was fueled by synthetic opioids such as fentanyl. About 80 percent of opioid overdose deaths included synthetic opioids.
Fentanyl has contributed to the deaths of singers Prince, Mac Miller, and Tom Petty, among countless other superstars, young adults, and students who ingest otherwise nonlethal amounts of cocaine or heroin.
On Tuesday, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto issued an executive order supporting fentanyl test strips, which detect the presence of the drug. The order comes in response to the rising number of overdoses caused by combined substances in the Pennsylvania city.
New research shows that three-quarters of the 254 opioid overdose deaths reported in Tampa Bay, Florida, were by people who had fentanyl in their system, and across the country, the fentanyl crisis is killing teenagers, the homeless, and more.