TRAFFIC STOP LEADS TO FENTANYL ARREST.
According to Izard County Chief Deputy Charley Melton, on August 25th, 2021 officers with the Izard County Sheriff's Department and 16th Judicial District Drug Task Force conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle that was occupied by Richard Cohn and Jamey Roof. During the course of this traffic stop, officers seized nearly a quarter pound of a substance that Cohn admitted to be "Heroin". Both drivers had suspended driver's licenses and outstanding warrants from outside of Izard County. Also discovered on Roof's person was Methamphetamine as well as Marijuana.
Chief Deputy Melton states that the substance seized from the traffic stop did test positive for Fentanyl.
Fentanyl is a highly addictive and very dangerous substance that has been making its way into our county and district at an alarming rate. It is the newest replacement and, in many cases, synonymous with Heroin due to the similar chemical makeup of the drug, effects, method of use as well as how the drug is advertised. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration's fact sheet about Fentanyl, the lethal dose of Fentanyl is generally considered to be 2 MILLIGRAMS. (1000 milligrams equal 1 gram) The lethal dose does consider that the individual has not developed a significant tolerance, however, even in individuals with a significant tolerance, the lethal dose of Fentanyl is extremely small compared to the potential lethal doses of many other opiate drugs. The substance is being sent to the Arkansas State Crime Laboratory for a full analysis which will quantify the amount of Fentanyl in the substance.
Examples of lethal doses of other opiate drugs are as follows:
Morphine doses of over 200 mg are considered lethal doses
Heroin doses between 75 and 375 mg are considered lethal doses
Hydrocodone doses of around 90 mg are considered lethal doses
To put this in perspective, IF the substance is 100 percent pure Fentanyl, 91 grams would effectively be enough to produce nearly 50,000 (fifty THOUSAND) lethal doses of Fentanyl.
Fentanyl is considered to be extremely dangerous in comparison to the 100 times less lethal dosages of Morphine and Heroin because it is generally in the form of a very fine powder which can produce a nearly invisible cloud and can be accidently inhaled, absorbed through the skin, eyes and nose. There have been multiple civilian deaths due to accidental exposure as well as officer deaths who encounter the substance during investigations.
Chief Deputy Melton is hopeful that these arrests will discourage others from trafficking this extremely dangerous substance into our area.
Cohn and Roof were both charged with Trafficking a controlled substance that contained Fentanyl and were both issued $100,000.00 bonds.
Melton notes that a very alarming amount of other drugs being seized in our area is testing positive for the presence of Fentanyl including Marijuana, Methamphetamine, and others. There are also a large amount of counterfeit pills being made to look like other, non-opiate drugs that may be laced with fentanyl. This epidemic has caused working drug interdiction to be handled with "It may look like a Tylenol or Alprazolam, but you really just don't know what you're dealing with anymore until it is tested at the lab. What's really heartbreaking is, most of the people we are encountering with an addiction to Fentanyl have overdosed multiple times and are tired of using the drug but just haven't had the resources to get off it."
Chief Deputy Melton adds that the recent Comprehensive Opiate Abuse Program Grant that the county received has added resources that has aided the County as well as the 16th District Drug Task Force in their drug interdiction efforts.