A Modest Proposal for Darrin Russo (OPINION)

I don’t know why Darrin Russo limits himself to county office. Frankly, I think he should shoot much higher.  In a campaign ad, he claimed credit for taking 1,534 pounds of fentanyl off the streets of Somerset County.  If he can prove that under his watch, the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office seized 1,534 pounds of fentanyl in Somerset County, then I will take him to New Hampshire and we can start to work on his presidential campaign.

Let’s put this into context: 1,534 pounds of fentanyl is worth $104 million dollars and breaks down into 350 million lethal doses of the illegal drug. That’s enough to kill every single person living in the United States.

These are horrifying numbers, made even more horrifying by the simple fact that in 2020 and 2021, Sheriff Darrin Russo seized zero grams of fentanyl.

Let me repeat that – between 2020-21, the Sheriff’s department seized zero grams of fentanyl.

This means one of two things: either Somerset County is now ground zero of the fentanyl epidemic in the United States, or Sheriff Russo lied.

Now, if Sheriff Russo is correct in his assertion, we could reasonably expect that press reports of huge fentanyl arrests, seizures, and prosecutions in Somerset County would be all over a Google search.  However, there are no reports of any such prosecutions or arrests or seizures. Not a single person was prosecuted for the possession or distribution of fentanyl during the first two years of Russo’s tenure as Sheriff. So the question remains: did he seize 1,534 pounds of fentanyl in Somerset County during this last year as Somerset County Sheriff?

Of course he didn’t.

Fentanyl is a major threat to public safety and public health.  It is so powerful that it can cause sickness or even death in small doses.  It’s an insult to the victims of this plague for Russo to re-imagine the truth of fentanyl enforcement.

Am I worried that I won’t be able to support one of my top choices for president, Nikki Haley or Ron DeSantis, or that I’ll have to travel to New Hampshire or Iowa with Russo?  Absolutely not.


TIM HOWES is a New Jersey attorney and chairman of the Somerset County Republican Organization (SCRO). 

Tim Howes
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TIM HOWES is a New Jersey attorney and chairman of the Somerset County Republican Organization (SCRO).