Sheriffs: Fentanyl adding to dangers of heroin epidemic

COVINGTON, KENTUCKY (FOX19) - The Butler County Sheriff's Office arrested an alleged drug dealer Monday evening in Fairfield following a week-long heroin trafficking investigation.

The sheriff's office arrested 32 year old Stefan Rutledge. Police recovered approximately $4,000 in cash, 10 ounces of heroin, a "bulk" supply of Fentanyl and various pills.

Local officials say they're seeing more and more overdoses now from people mixing heroin and Fentanyl.

The Butler County coroner's office says of the 21 overdoses from heroin this year, more than half overdosed from a mixture of Fentanyl and heroin.

"It's like Russian roulette with adding a couple extra bullets to the process," said Dr. Jeremy Engel.

The CDC says Fentanyl is estimated to be 80 times as potent as Morphine and now drug dealers are pairing it with something that's already one of the deadliest drugs in the Tri-State.

"Whoever is selling this stuff, they want to have the most powerful, potent drug that they're selling and they don't usually take the stuff themselves, they sell it," said Sheriff Richard Jones.

Sheriff Richard Jones says all it takes to combine these two drugs is something as simple as a coffee grinder and a press.

"If you see a coffee grinder in someone's bedroom and they don't have a coffee pot in there something is up. They know how they're doing it. You don't need a huge lab to do this," said Dr. Engel.

Dr. Engel says when mixing these drugs, it's much harder to resuscitate someone with these heightened effects.

"You're adding beyond the normal amount which increases the likelihood that their brain centers will be suppressed and they'll stop breathing," said Dr. Engel.

Fentanyl is a pain medication commonly used before and after surgery. Dr. Engel says there's too many unknowns when combining these highly potent drugs.

"All of a sudden you see people dying who were able to survive before so adding Fentanyl will increase the likelihood that more people will die unnecessarily," said Dr. Engel.

Sheriff Jones says now they're looking at new ways to catch the individuals responsible for spreading this poison into the community.

"We're telling the drug dealers if you have competition that's a drug dealer selling drugs in your area, give us a call, knock off your competition. We're going to work it any way we can," said Jones.

Jones says many Butler County drug dealers are getting their supply from Mexico.

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