Inside LADA

June 11, 2019: Combating Opioid Abuse

Opioid News Conference

District Attorney Jackie Lacey is seeking the public’s help in saving lives and reducing opioid addiction throughout Los Angeles County.

At a May 7 news conference, pictured, District Attorney Lacey asked members of the public to report non-emergency information about the illegal trafficking or overprescription of opioids to her office for possible criminal prosecution.

“We must do everything in our power to stop the flow of these deadly drugs into our community, whether they are bought illegally on the streets or legally with a valid prescription,” District Attorney Lacey said. “Reporting this crime will help us save lives.”

In Los Angeles County, 447 people died from opioid-related overdoses in 2017, according to the latest statistics from the California Department of Public Health. That was a 61 percent increase over opioid-related deaths just two years earlier.

District Attorney Lacey said getting the public’s help could make a lasting, meaningful difference in the lives of those who struggle with opioid addiction.

Her office aggressively prosecutes both manufacturers and sellers of illegal narcotics and those who unlawfully prescribe controlled substances.

Among the more notable cases was the conviction of Dr. Hsiu Ying “Lisa” Tseng, who ran a clinic in a strip mall in Rowland Heights. It was one of the nation's first murder convictions of a doctor for overprescribing drugs. 

A jury found Tseng guilty of three felony counts of second-degree murder in the overdose deaths of three otherwise healthy young men, ages 21, 24 and 28. She was sentenced to 30 years to life in state prison.

Opioid trafficking and overprescription complaints must be submitted in writing to the District Attorney’s Office. More information and a complaint form may be found on the office's website at http://da.lacounty.gov/operations/opioid-complaint-form.