Natchitoches Parish Sheriff Victor Jones and District Attorney Billy Joe Harrington issued a warning today of the increase of illegal, and deadly, narcotics appearing in Natchitoches Parish.
“We have seen a large increase of highly dangerous and deadly narcotics in the area, including substances that are sold on the street purporting to be certain narcotics but are laced with more dangerous components which has resulted in the death of the
users,” warned Jones.
“First and foremost, all illegal narcotics are dangerous and could be deadly. And, the people who sell narcotics on the streets have no regard for the well-being of the user other than to keep them hooked on their poison. Our Drug Task Force is out there working every day and night to arrest drug pushers and bring these people to justice,” proclaimed Jones.
District Attorney Harrington stated that “if a person sells drugs to another individualand that individual dies as a direct result of ingesting narcotics, the seller may have committed the crime of second degree murder, which carries a life sentence upon conviction. Our office will prosecute these offenses.”
Harrington pointed to two recent narcotics related deaths in Louisiana that could be related to the use of narcotics laced with the deadly compound Fentanyl, which is 500% more potent than heroin.
Assistant Chief Jesse Taitano, co-commander of the Natchitoches Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force, stated all suspected Ecstasy seized during the past eight months by the Drug Task Force has been analyzed by a crime lab. The results determined that none of the seized tablets actually contained MDMA, which is the psychoactive drug found in Ecstasy. The results of the analysis stated that 90% of the suspected Ecstasy tablets contained methamphetamine only, while 10% of the tablets contained a mixture of Methamphetamine and substituted Cathinone, also known as baths salts. Both of these components are highly addictive and have very harmful effects.
“Our task force agents are very concerned about this because the user believes they are purchasing Ecstasy, but instead are getting a more potent and highly addictive dose of another drug. This is what is now popularly known as ‘Molly’. Clandestine manufacturers are substituting MDMA with mainly bath salts and Methamphetamine in these tablets due to access to them are cheaper and more readily available. Bath salts and Methamphetamine are both highly addictive and have been linked to overdoses throughout the country,” said Taitano.
The Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force also have seized illegal narcotics that have been disguised as prescription narcotic pain killers. Recently, pills seized from a local drug dealer that were initially suspected to be Oxycodone were determined by the crime lab to contain heroin only. Numerous Hydrocodone pills marked “Watson 853” were determined to contain Fentanyl and Alprazolam, which have caused deaths to some users. Other prescription narcotic pills contained a substance called U-4770, also known as ‘Pink’ or ‘U4’, which is a synthetic opioid pain medication developed as a dangerous designer drug which has caused several overdose deaths.
Task force agents also seized numerous packages of suspected synthetic marijuana,in which the crime lab determined them to contain synthetic cannabinoids and Phencyclidine also known as ‘PCP’ and ‘Angel Dust’.
Sheriff Jones said, “these drugs obtained on the street, even though they look like an authentic prescription medication, may be fake and deadly. Don’t take any prescription drug unless they have been prescribed to you by your physician and is dispensed by a legitimate pharmacy.”
District Attorney Harrington added, “You are putting yourself in great danger if you consume synthetic marijuana, Ecstasy, or other designer drugs as they may be laced with deadly narcotics. Don’t waste your life on one stupid mistake.”
“Help us save the next life, whether it’s yours, your friend’s, or a family member’s. Help us break this deadly cycle of narcotics addiction in Natchitoches Parish. Do not take these drugs. They will kill you. I can’t say it any plainer than this,” warned Jones.
If a person wants to confidentially help get these dangerous drugs out of our parish, contact the Natchitoches Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force at (318) 357-2248.
They can remain anonymous.
The Natchitoches Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force is comprised of narcotics agents from the Natchitoches Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Natchitoches City Police Department.