Purdue Pharma, the creator of OxyContin, has agreed to plead guilty to three federal criminal charges for its part in creating the nation’s opioid crisis and will pay more than $8 billion and shut down the company.
What We Know:
- The charges involve conspiracy to defraud the United States and violating federal anti-kickback laws. The money will be used for opioid treatment and abatement programs. The privately held company has accepted to pay a $3.5 billion fine and relinquish an extra $2 billion in past profits, in addition to the $2.8 billion it agreed to pay in civil liability.
- The company does not have $8 billion in cash handy to pay the fines. So Purdue will be terminated as part of the settlement, and its assets will be used to create a new “public benefit company” controlled by a trust or similar item designed for the benefit of the American public.
- The Justice Department said it would perform entirely in the public interest rather than to maximize profits. Its projected earnings will go to paying the fines and penalties, which in turn will be used to battle the opioid crisis.
- That new company will keep producing painkillers such as OxyContin and drugs to deal with opioid overdose. Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, who published the settlement, defended the new company’s plans to continue to sell that drug, stating there are authorized uses for painkillers such as OxyContin.
- The idea is for the company to make life-saving overdose rescue drugs and medically assisted treatment medications available at steep discounts to communities dealing with the opioid crisis.
- The company that had filed for bankruptcy in 2019 pleaded guilty to violating federal anti-kickback laws, as it paid doctors apparently to write more opioid prescriptions.
- The Justice Department also reached a separate $225 million civil settlement with the former owners of Purdue Pharma, the Sackler family. Although, the Sackler family, as well as other current and former employees and owners of the company, face the chance that federal criminal charges will be filed against them.
- Purdue Chairman Steve Miller, who joined Purdue in 2018, stated:
“Purdue deeply regrets and accepts responsibility for the misconduct detailed by the Department of Justice.” “Purdue today is a very different company. We have made significant changes to our leadership, operations, governance, and oversight.”
This proposal will be executed as quickly as possible to help address the needs of people who suffer from opioid addiction and abuse.
Mother of Florida Teen Who Was Shot and Killed By Sheriff’s Deputy Gets Shot at His Burial Service
Quesheda Pierce (39) was shot in the leg on Saturday by a single gunshot at the burial service of her son Sincere Pierce.
What We Know:
- Her son, Sincere, was one of two Black teens that were fatally shot by a Brevard County deputy during an attempted traffic stop on November 13. Friends and family gathered on Saturday at Riverview Memorial Gardens Cemetery to pay their final moments of respect.
- As the Pastor was finishing his remarks and attendees placed flowers on Sincere’s casket, a single shot was fired and Florida Today reported that Ms. Pierce was heard yelling.
- According to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office, the gun that shot Ms. Pierce was an “accidental discharge” of a concealed weapon.
- In a statement to NBC News, sheriff’s spokesperson Tod Goodyear stated, “Initial reports were that a male and female received non-life-threatening injuries when shot during a funeral service”. He continued, “The female victim is identified as 39-year-old Quasheda Pierce.”
- Officials have not released the name of the 16-year-old male suspected of firing the shot and he is not cooperating with law enforcement.
- Goodyear stated:
“The investigation to date, which includes witness testimony and physical evidence, has determined that the single shot allegedly originated from the 16-year-old who apparently experienced an accidental discharge from a firearm concealed on his person during the funeral service.”
- The 16-year-old was injured as well. Goodyear explained the bullet “penetrated and exited his leg prior to impacting Quasheda Pierce’s leg”.
Goodyear also mentioned that multiple calls were made to sheriff dispatchers reporting that a male and female were injured during the funeral service.
28-Year-Old Identified After Being Found Dead in Car Trunk Following Police Chase
The 28-year-old woman who was found dead in a car trunk in Texas has been identified as Briana Johnson. Victor Campbell, the driver, has been arrested and currently sits behind bars at the Jefferson County Jail.
What We Know:
- The body of a 28-year-old woman was found in the trunk of a car after it crashed during a police chase in Texas, authorities said. Victor Cambell was pulled over by police officers around 8 am on Saturday. He didn’t stop, which led to a car chase until he later crashed.
- According to the NY Post, the police first spotted the vehicle speeding around 7:45 a.m. and pulled it over in Beaumont, about 85 miles east of Houston. But the driver, Victor Campbell Jr., allegedly zoomed off, leading the troopers on a chase that ended when he crashed near the parking lot of a church thrift shop.
- Campbell, who’s previously been charged with family violence, was taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries following the crash and later booked into Jefferson County jail. The 35-year-old now faces charges for felony evading arrest, driving while intoxicated, tampering with evidence, and abusing a corpse. Additional charges may be added, police said. A cause of death hasn’t been released yet, but an autopsy has been ordered.
- On Sunday, several Houston police officers searched a home in the area that is believed to be connected to her death, based on the evidence found at the crime scene in Beaumont. The investigation is still ongoing. The family of Johnson has set up a GoFundMe account to go toward funeral expenses. Her hometown is in Fresno, California, and her family is hoping and wanting to take her body back there.
- Some of her friends spoke out about her sudden and mysterious death. Former classmate Tiffany Goodman spoke with 12 News, remembering Johnson. “It just doesn’t seem that this type of incident would happen to her. To be found in a trunk of a car, it was just so heartbreaking”. The two of them attended college together at TSU in Houston and crossed paths multiple times. She described Johnson as a person with confidence that cared deeply for others.
Her loss deeply saddens her family and friends. This is a developing story, and more news is to come.
Bay Area Rapper Lil Yase Shot and Killed at 25, Community Seeks Answers
San Francisco rapper, Lil Yase (Alexander Antonnyo Jr.) was shot and killed over the weekend.
What We Know:
- Early Saturday morning officers received reports of a male at ValleyCare Medical Center in Pleasanton suffering from several gunshot wounds. They later identified the man as Bay Area artist Lil Yase. An ambulance transferred him to Eden Medical Center in Castro Valley where he sadly passed away. Police believe the shooting took place about a block away from the East Dublin BART station.
- While there are currently no suspects in custody, an investigation into Lil Yase’s murder continues. Dublin Police Captain Nate Schmidt says investigators “do have some leads” seeing as he was able to give Pleasonton police a bit of information before he died.
- Justin Miranda was the business partner of Lil Yase at their independent record label 420 Highway Productions. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Miranda, along with many others, is stunned by his death. He said, “We don’t have any idea why he was out there. It was not an area…where he knew anybody. He didn’t have enemies or rap beefs. He wasn’t in a gang. He transcended all of that.” Miranda shared that a lot of the rapper’s lyrics were fiction. The violence he rapped about was mainly from what he saw growing up, and not who he truly was.
- Lil Yase grew up in the Sunnydale housing projects. Larry Jones has been a youth counselor and staple in the community for a long time. He says he always knew when something violent in the neighborhood was about to happen because Lil Yase would find safety in the community center. “He would go hang out in the computer lab by himself. That is when we knew something was brewing,” Jones said.
- Back in September of this year, Lil Yase released an EP with another Bay Area rapper named Nemz. He grew a following back in 2015 from his hit song “Get In” and has since received hundreds of thousands of views on Youtube for other tracks like “No Diss”, “Demon”, and “Streets’ Freestyle”. Lil Yase has also collaborated with a number of other popular rappers (and rap groups) such as Shoreline Mafia, IamSu!, G-Val, Yatta, and Cash Kidd. Jones suspects his association with other rappers may have possibly landed a target on his back.
Miranda said Lil Yase only desired to focus on his music and the label. He constantly uplifted other rappers and spent most of his days in the studio. Along with the many other artists taken from us too soon this year, he will be missed.
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