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The rise of Fentanyl in Southwest Florida

The rise of Fentanyl in southwest Florida
The rise of Fentanyl in southwest Florida
Posted at 7:04 AM, May 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-31 07:04:47-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — According to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) if you get a street pill laced with Fentanyl there is a 66% chance it can kill you.

The DEA says it is leading to overdoses across the country and becoming a tough battle for law enforcement to fight.

However, Lee County Sheriff's Office (LCSO) is fighting that battle twice as hard this year.

LCSO says the area is seeing a 200% increase in Fentanyl drug busts compared to this time last year. They also believe this is only a fraction of what is actually on the streets.

LCSO has doubled its narcotic unit in the last year and even after 140 arrests Fentanyl is still finding a way into the drug supply in Lee County.

Lee County Sheriff Carmine Marceno says detectives have found Fentanyl laced in drugs from marijuana to counterfit pills.

"When you take that poison off, we save lives. You lessen the number of overdoses. Drugs are laced with fentanyl, marijuana. There are pills now that look like different types of pills that are fentanyl pills. So, unfortunately, when these drugs are out in the streets, we're responding to overdoses," said Marceno

Marceno says it is a national epidemic, not something just for Lee County, and is proven through national data.

Customs and Border Protection data shows a 150% increase in Fentanyl busts since this time last year.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), overdose deaths killed more than 100,000 people.

Last month a Southwest Florida task force arrested 27 people in a drug bust and seized over 160 grams.

It is evident that Lee County Narcotics Unit is fighting to get Fentanyl off our streets with one drug bust at a time.