Father Charged in Fentanyl Tragedy

In a heart-wrenching incident, a 24-year-old father from Bakersfield, Raul Rivera, has been charged with first-degree murder in the tragic death of his 2-year-old son, Ezekiel Rivera. The toddler succumbed to a fentanyl overdose in June, leading to the father’s arrest on January 24, 2024.

Ezekiel was discovered lifeless in his father’s room almost 22 hours after being last seen alive on surveillance cameras. Raul Rivera, who is also facing charges of willful cruelty to a child in relation to his then 3-year-old son, is being held in jail with a $1 million bail.

According to a probable cause statement filed in Kern County Superior Court, autopsy results confirmed Ezekiel’s fentanyl overdose. The statement alleges that Rivera was aware of the dangers of fentanyl, failed to protect his children, and obstructed Ezekiel from receiving timely medical attention.

Surveillance footage revealed Ezekiel entering his father’s room at 1:40 a.m. on June 5, where Raul Rivera admitted to using fentanyl. Later that day, Ezekiel was seen being carried out of the room in a seemingly lifeless state. Rivera had fled the home before law enforcement arrived, expressing doubt that medical aid would benefit his son.

Investigations uncovered drug paraphernalia in Rivera’s home, including residue on furniture where fentanyl was allegedly consumed, two narcotics smoking pipes, and evidence of past drug use. Additionally, Soluna Lora, Ezekiel’s mother, filed a claim against the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, asserting that deputies failed to remove her children from Rivera’s home despite her warnings about his drug-related activities.

Lora’s attorney, Humberto Guizar, emphasized the need for accountability and better training for law enforcement in handling such cases. The tragic incident underscores the importance of addressing civil rights issues and ensuring the safety of children in vulnerable situations. As legal proceedings unfold, the community awaits justice for Ezekiel Rivera.

As we grapple with the heartbreaking case of Raul Rivera and the tragic loss of young Ezekiel, it is essential to recognize the urgent need for awareness and preventive measures in the face of the fentanyl epidemic. At FentanylSolution.org, our mission revolves around educating communities about the dangers of fentanyl and advocating for solutions to combat its devastating impact. Through our programming, we strive to empower individuals with information, support, and resources to prevent such heartbreaking incidents. Join us in our commitment to creating a safer environment for families by exploring our initiatives at FentanylSolution.org, as we work towards a future where no family has to endure the pain caused by this dangerous substance. Together, we can make a difference and protect our loved ones from the pervasive threat of fentanyl.

Source: Bakersfield News

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Powerful Discourse on Fentanyl: Insights from State Senator Thomas J. Umberg, Judge James Gray, and Janice M. Celeste at World Affairs Council Event

In a compelling event organized by The World Affairs Council of Orange County and California State University, Fullerton, key figures convened to address the pressing issue of the fentanyl epidemic. The distinguished panel featured State Senator Thomas J. Umberg, Chair of the Senate’s Judiciary Committee, and Judge James Gray, providing a comprehensive discussion on the far-reaching impact of fentanyl and effective strategies for combating it.

One of the highlights of the event was a poignant speech delivered by Janice M. Celeste, President and former CEO of our organization. Celeste shed light on the dangers of illicit fentanyl, emphasizing its indiscriminate nature that can affect anyone. She emphasized that those who believe they are immune to such risks are often the most vulnerable. Celeste’s speech resonated with the audience as she passionately discussed the need for awareness and proactive measures.

Addressing the critical role of parents in the fight against the fentanyl epidemic, Celeste provided valuable insights on how families can protect themselves. Her expertise and commitment to combating the illicit fentanyl crisis were evident throughout the event, inspiring attendees to take an active stance against this growing threat.

The event served as a platform for open dialogue and collaboration, fostering a collective understanding of the challenges posed by fentanyl. With State Senator Thomas J. Umberg, Judge James Gray, and Janice M. Celeste at the forefront, the discussions provided not only awareness but also actionable strategies to address the fentanyl epidemic at its core.

Join us in our crucial mission to save lives from the fentanyl crisis and drive impactful awareness. Your donation today will make a significant difference!


OC Talk Radio: Fentanyl Crisis with President & CEO, Janice M. Celeste

In a recent broadcast hosted by OC Talk Radio’s Public Affairs Director, Dawn Kamber, a critical conversation unfolded at the heart of the University of California-Irvine’s Beall Applied Innovation Center. The interview featured our President & CEO, Janice M. Celeste, shedding light on the dire efforts in combating the illicit fentanyl crisis, which has significantly impacted Orange County’s youth.

 

During the interview, a distressing truth surfaced: fentanyl stands as the foremost killer of teenagers in Orange County. As a synthetic opioid, it possesses an alarming potency that exceeds that of morphine or heroin, making it a lethal threat to unsuspecting individuals. This potent substance has proliferated in street drugs, leading to a dramatic rise in overdoses and deaths, particularly among the younger demographic.

 

Janice M. Celeste elucidated on the multifaceted approach taken by our organization to address this escalating crisis. She articulated our mission, highlighting our dedication to mitigating the spread of fentanyl and staunchly advocating for prevention strategies.

 

Please watch and/or listen and share radio talk show video/audio below:

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Wake Up! Newport with our President & CEO Janice Celeste as Special Guest

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Fentanyl Awareness Townhall Events

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Parking Instructions

Guests will proceed through a security gate house upon driving onto campus, mention Fentanyl Solution meeting in Grimm Hall to the gate guard. The guard will provide guests with a Visitor Parking Pass which affords each guest the opportunity to park in any legal parking space on campus (i.e. the space does not need to be designated as “Visitor” – any space applies). Further parking details can be found on this Campus Safety web page.