EBR narcotics deputies investigate more than 150 fentanyl overdoses this year
EAST BATON ROUGE PARISH, La. (WAFB) - Narcotics deputies with the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office are hitting the streets to try to get dangerous drugs out of the wrong hands.
“They’re working undercover. They do a lot of what they call control buys of these drugs from individuals,” EBRSO spokeswoman Casey Hicks said. “That’s how they’re able to get the probable cause to get search warrants to go into where the drugs are being stored and hidden, and that’s how they’re able to make these seizures and these arrests.”
Deputies are tracking down fentanyl and human traffickers, which Hicks said often go hand in hand. To help in the effort, they’re using a $1 million dollar grant.
“A large part of it is going to combat fentanyl in our community, particularly in the Central area as well, so we’re going to use that money to do overtime to have these detectives out on the streets more often so they’re able to get more of this drug off the streets,” Hicks said.
The grant is important because investigators see more cases where folks do not know what’s in the drugs they’re taking.
“Anytime that you’re buying drugs on the street, you don’t know what you’re getting. And that’s what we see more and more is that people are overdosing, they didn’t even know that they were using fentanyl, they thought they were using something else,” Hicks said.
Even a small amount of fentanyl can be deadly, according to EBRSO.
“If you look at like just a little sugar packet of sweet and low or whatever, that’s one gram. So, it’s from point-one gram up to one gram is lethal. So, you can take one-tenth of that sugar, you pour it out and you pull out a tenth, it’s a very small minute amount that can be deadly,” Hicks said.
More than 200 people have died from a drug overdose this year in East Baton Rouge Parish, and all but 20 had fentanyl in their system, according to the coroner’s office.
So far this year, EBRSO has seized more than nine pounds of fentanyl. Last year, they seized nine and a half pounds, which included one of the largest drug busts in parish history.
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