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Central Union High School’s Principal speaks out about the impact of losing a student to drugs

A student passed away in 2019 due to a fentanyl overdose and the man who sold him the drug received his sentence Thursday - 13 On Your Side's Vanessa Gongora reports

IMPERIAL COUNTY, Calif. (KYMA, KECY) - 15 year old Central Union High School football player Josue Garcia Moreno passed away in 2019 due to a fentanyl overdose.

Principal Craig Lyon says anytime a student passes away, it's hard on students and staff.

"Because you always have those students that are connected to him," says Lyon.

Lyon says the students came together to support each other during that difficult time.

23 year old Brawley resident, Lorenzo Anthony Garcia was sentenced Thursday to more than 10 years in prison for providing fentanyl to Moreno.

"I know a lot of them were probably waiting for this day to happen because you know. it's never easy," says Lyon. "I mean justice being served can be looked at a lot of different ways but I think for our students, they're happy to see this but obviously they still would love to have Josue with them."

The Imperial County Narcotics Task Force (NTF) says fentanyl is extremely easy for kids to get their hands on, especially with social media.

Commander John Seaman says parents will be able to see a dramatic change of behavior in their kids.

"Talk to your kids, be involved with them. Support them in everything they do, their sporting events," says Seaman. "Go and participate, you know, be a parent."

According to the Imperial County NTF, so far this year they've found approximately 50,000 fentanyl pills, over 3,000 pounds of meth and about six pounds of fentanyl powder.

Lyon says being in a border town he understands how difficult it is to combat drugs in Imperial County, but says they're working to build stronger relationships with students so they feel comfortable expressing issues they're going through.

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Vanessa Gongora

Vanessa Gongora joined the KYMA team in 2022 and is the anchor/producer for CBS at 4 p.m.

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