Over the last several weeks, Connersville has been hit with many drug overdoses, several in which caused deaths.

Connersville Police Department Detective Brad Rosser said the overdoses come in waves.

“The number of overdoses certainly have increased, it comes in waves though. This is unfortunately normal when you talk about drugs like heroin or fentanyl. That’s one of the many reasons why they are so dangerous,” Rosser said.

There is a newer fentanyl that has hit the area, causing overdoses.

“It’s stronger. Anytime you use illicit drugs like this, you’re not getting stuff that’s FDA approved. It’s not cut or regulated like what one might receive in the hospital. It’s all being cut by some cartel guy or a mid-level dealer that is ordering fentanyl on the dark web straight from China and cutting it himself. Half of his batch may be somewhat weak, and half of his batch may not be mixed thoroughly and maybe much stronger. There’s no controls. So the purity of certain ‘batches’ is all over the place. It’s the nature of the beast. You never know what you’re getting because you never know who prepared it, cut it, brought it into this country, or distributed it.”

Rosser said he has seen first hand incidents where the drug caused immediate death.

“You can end up buying from the same dealer that you always buy from, using the same amount that you always use, and it kills you as soon as it enters your body. I’ve literally seen it over and over, people drop as soon as they use, instantly dead. It isn’t safe at all.”

There have been several traffic stops and calls made this month due to drugs.

On January 13, Fayette County Sheriff Department Deputy Becker stopped a vehicle in the 300 block of W. 30th Street. CPD Officer Watson and K9 Simon stopped to assist by conducting an exterior sniff of the vehicle. K9 Simon gave a positive indication to the vehicle which officers searched and located approximately three grams of Fentanyl and 152 grams of mushrooms.

On January 16, CPD Officer Ryan Morefield made a traffic stop. FCSD Deputy Kyle McMurry arrived to assist Officer Morefield. Deputy McMurry conducted an exterior sniff of the vehicle with K9 Zeno who gave a positive indication on the vehicle. Upon searching the vehicle, officers located 18 grams of Methamphetamine and a large sum of money. Officers arrested one subject as a result.

On January 20, emergency personnel responded to 30th street Shell in reference to two subjects possibly passed out in their vehicle. Upon arrival, the subjects were awake. Lt. Perry and K9 Leo conducted an exterior sniff of the vehicle which K9 Leo gave a positive indication on the vehicle. Officers searched the vehicle and located a total of 19 grams of Fentanyl, three grams and Methamphetamine, along with paraphernalia. FCSD Deputy Dan Becker assisted CPD units.

On January 23, CPD Officer Morefield stopped a vehicle in the 900 block of Western Avenue. FCSD Deputy McMurry and K9 Zeno stopped to assist by conducting an exterior sniff of the vehicle. K9 Zeno gave a positive indication to the vehicle which officers searched and located a total of 5 grams of Methamphetamine.

While these are just a few instances, there have been many more and numbers have continued to rise in overdoses.

“We’ve had approximately 10 ‘overdose’ calls this year so far, but that’s kind of misleading because sometimes overdoses are listed as ‘dead bodies’ if they’re fatal, or ‘difficulty breathing’ or some other medical problem if the caller is trying to mask the fact that it’s actually an OD to dispatch. I’d say that the true number is closer to 10-15 overdoses with four suspected fatalities (pending toxicology/investigation being completed).”

Rosser said the numbers may be higher, pending on toxicology reports. It is hard to give a concrete number without all the reports completed.

“These are only the ones that get reported to us. Now that Narcan is so readily available, a lot of them go unreported. We also don’t know about overdoses that are dropped off to the emergency room by friends or family members. There are many occasions people drop off others at ER to keep law enforcement from being involved.”
Copyright © 2022 The Connersville News-Examiner