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Sacramento Oracle

Help Prevent Fentanyl Fatalities by Being Aware

May 28, 2024 11:52AM ● By Carol Feineman

Mason Brazil brought joy to many area residents in his short life. Now, in Mason Brazil’s memory, his father is bringing awareness of the increase in deadly fentanyl poisonings through the annual fentanyl prevention event. Photo courtesy of Ricky Brazil

WEST SACRAMENTO, CA (MPG) – The third annual “Fighting Fentanyl” Fentanyl Awareness event on June 1 is put on by a father who does not want other families to experience the loss of a loved one from fentanyl poisoning.

“Two years ago, my son, Mason Brazil, passed away from fentanyl poisoning at the age of 23,” said event organizer Ricky Brazil. “We hold these events in honor of his memory and to help prevent future deaths in our community.”

Mason Brazil’s life was cut short way too soon.

“Mason was a very talented, funny, driven and caring young man,” Brazil said. “He was a hard worker and very loyal to everyone close to him. Although he lived only 23 years, he lived life to its fullest.”

The annual event from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. June 1 will bring awareness of the increasing number of fentanyl poisoning deaths affecting residents, especially young adults.

Several community organizations and businesses are helping Brazil present this free event designed for all members of the family.

Mixed martial arts classes will be offered during the June 1 fentanyl prevention event as a healthy activity for youth. The event is in memory of Mason Brazil, who trained and competed in mixed martial arts classes. Photo courtesy of Ricky Brazil

The June 1 event includes several car and truck clubs presenting a car show, complimentary Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) classes to show youth alternative activities to do, food trucks, a deejay and speakers.

Information booths will be staffed by Drug-Induced Homicide and Tribal People's Empowerment Project.

According to Drug-Induced Homicide, a nonprofit organization addressing the impact of drug-induced homicides on families and communities, a drug toxicity death occurs almost every seven minutes and illicit drugs are now the leading cause of death for Americans aged 18 to 45. 

“Fentanyl is the single deadliest drug threatening our country,” said Yolo County District Attorney Jeff Reisig on the Yolo County website at “We must come together to educate our communities in an effort to save lives.”

Fentanyl is 100 times more deadly than morphine, according to the county website. The statistics are alarming: 97% of street-purchased pills are counterfeit, 97% of those fake pills contain fentanyl and 52 people have died in Yolo County since 2020.

Concerned community members throughout the state are pushing for drug dealers to be convicted of homicide when someone dies as a result of buying their pills. Fair Oaks fentanyl dealer Arron Dare, 26, was found guilty in Placer County for selling a lethal amount of fentanyl to a young woman, Haleigh Yarbrough. On April 4, Dare received a 15-years-to-life sentence in a California prison.

Yarbrough’s father said in his victim impact statement “With fentanyl being 50 to 100 times stronger than heroin, the defendant still chose to line his pockets with money. Instead of making an honest living, he chose a life of exploiting others.”

Yarbrough’s stepmother stated in her victim impact, “No more Mother’s Days, no more Father’s Days with Haleigh. Her sister is now left to make wedding plans without her sister. No more Christmas mornings, no more Easter; this is the devastation of this crisis.”

While Brazil also wants to hold drug dealers accountable for their deadly actions, he also wants to help prevent other victims from dying.

“We need to have more availability for rehabilitation, for individual's suffering from this addiction,” Brazil said. “We also need more resources for mental health, for the families going through losing a loved one from this growing crisis.”

The June 1 fentanyl prevention event is at Muscle Systems Gym, 922 Sac Ave., in West Sacramento.