New US Attorney serving Upper Michigan, looking to disrupt Fentanyl increase

U.S. Attorney Mark Totten
U.S. Attorney Mark Totten(Western District of Michigan, U.S. District Court)
Published: Oct. 18, 2022 at 5:37 AM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - A new U.S. attorney is serving Upper Michigan, and he is focusing on Fentanyl.

Mark Totten is the chief federal law enforcement officer in the Western District of Michigan. The district covers 49 counties, including all of Upper Michigan. The main office is in Grand Rapids, but it has a location in Marquette.

Totten says his office is partnering with other agencies to try and disrupt the importation of drugs into the U.P.

“We’re finding Fentanyl showing up in counterfeit pills,” said Totten. “Pills that look like Xanax or Adderall that are being pushed on social media. And we’ve got teenagers, young people who are taking these drugs who maybe have never taken a drug in their life, and they think they’ll try it once at a party and they can be dead within an hour.”

Totten urges parents to educate their teenagers about Fentanyl. Even trace amounts - the amount that could fit at the tip of a pencil - could lead to someone’s death within an hour. It’s showing up in many drugs, mixed with meth or cocaine, and in counterfeit pills with familiar names.

“You should never ever take a pill that’s not been prescribed by your doctor,” said Totten.

Totten says his office is very active on the prosecution side, targeting regional traffickers.

Totten was sworn in on May 5, 2022. He was nominated by President Biden and confirmed by the U.S. Senate.

His investiture ceremony is being held Wednesday at the Grand Rapids Center for Community Transformation.

Totten was born and raised in Kalamazoo, where he lives today. Previously he served as Chief Legal Counsel in the Executive Office of the Governor for the State of Michigan from 2019-2022.