Fentanyl seized in Westminster by Deputies enough to kill entire Carroll County
Was discovered during a routine traffic stop aided by a K9 unit
In early December, Carroll County Sheriff’s Deputies discovered and seized enough fentanyl during a routine traffic stop in Westminster, to kill every single person in the county, according to Sheriff Jim DeWees during last week’s Board of County Commissioner’s open session meeting.
“We had a traffic stop on South Pleasant Valley road, and seized almost a half-kilo of fentanyl” DeWees said. “It was a routine traffic stop by my Deputies, and a K9 scan, so it was one of my K9 dogs that alerted on the vehicle, and a search yielded a substantial amount of fentanyl”.
“It was destined for the streets of Carroll County”, DeWees explained, “It would be enough to kill every man, woman, and child in Carroll County”. Watch:
250,000 lethal doses for a County of 175,000 souls
Ingesting just two milligrams of fentanyl can be fatal, meaning the half-kilogram seized by the Sheriff’s Deputies in Westminster represented 250,000 lethal doses, plenty enough to wipe out Carroll’s entire population of just under 175,000 souls.
The three individuals caught trafficking the drug that is 50x more powerful than morphine were from upstate Pennsylvania, and were they not caught, would have worsened the opioid epidemic in Carroll where fatalities are already up 650% over the last decade, surging from 8 deaths in 2011, to 60 in 2021, per blended data from the Carroll County Health Department and Carroll Community College.
And it is fentanyl driving the increase, accounting for not one single death as recently as 2011, but now 72% of them in 2022, per calculated data available from the Sheriff’s Overdose Investigative Summary Report.
The drug’s precursor chemicals are exported from China into Mexico, where they are materialized then smuggled across a porous southern border for eventual distribution up and down the I-95 corridor, including into Maryland, where statewide deaths from it are up an unfathomable 6700% the last decade.
Commissioner Guerin announces fentanyl focus
Remarking on the fentanyl issue prior to Sheriff DeWees, was new Commissioner Michael Guerin, who implored parents to speak to their kids about the risks of unknowingly ingesting even trace amounts of the lethal opiate that is now so often laced into other drugs that are comparatively less harmful on their own.
Especially during the holiday season, Guerin reminded, when so many young people return home from college or adventuring otherwise to socialize and party with old friends and acquaintances over alcohol and other drugs.
Just so, circumstances similar to these are how the writer of this article lost a dear twenty-one year old cousin in a neighboring Maryland county just prior to Thanksgiving. It can happen so quickly.
Guerin hopes to address the epidemic in Carroll as Commissioner, announcing a formal focus on the issue, and an appointment to a statewide policy group responsible for mitigating it.
Delegate-elect Chris Tomlinson has similarly said the crisis will be one of his top legislative priorities this upcoming session in the General Assembly, one he hopes will muster bipartisan support.
And newly re-elected Board of Education Vice President Tara Battaglia counts the implementation of in-school naloxone training as one of the most meaningful achievements from her first term on the Board.
Through November of 2022, there have been 46 opioid deaths in Carroll, pacing for 50 on the year, which would mark a 16% YoY decrease from 2021.