Fentanyl a danger to more than the suspect in a drug investigation

Updated: May. 19, 2021 at 6:12 PM EDT
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MARIETTA, Ohio- (WTAP) - While it’s obviously dangerous to the suspect, Fentanyl-or the presence of it in a drug operation-can also be dangerous to the authorities making an arrest. That’s true whether it’s actually ingested-or is simply released into the air.

“We have had search warrants where the suspects have thrown the bags of fentanyl in an attempt to destroy it, and had the fentanyl go airborne,” according to Sgt. Ryan Huffman, Detective, Marietta Police Department, who has been involved in drug investigations for the department.

That’s resulted in decontamination of the law enforcement officers and anyone or anything present at the time, from bystanders to items nearby. And fentanyl, if ingested, can be fatal.

“I’ve known cops that have had to receive Narcan treatment because they were exposed to fentanyl,” says Marietta Police Capt. Aaron Nedeff.

As is the case with nearly every situation, police take training to deal with these problems. But it’s always a matter of staying one step ahead.

“It’s just trying to keep up with the danger and stay ahead of it,” Capt. Nedeff says. “New drugs and new substances become the rage.

There’s some good news: techniques learned when meth lab, and the chemicals used in the manufacture of meth, were common, have helped officers in finding ways to handle sudden exposure to fentanyl.

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