Crime of the week: Fentanyl arrests in Wichita Falls
WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - There have been 15 fentanyl related deaths this year in Wichita Falls. Those happened in the span of just six months. Sadly, the increase has been seen specifically among teenagers as young as 14 years old.
Chief Photojournalist Joseph Saint reports some were unaware they were even consuming the drug. He has more on how police are now trying to cut off the problem at the source in Friday’s crime of the week.
There have been two fentanyl-related arrests in less than a week. 19-year-old Jakob Joel Blankenship of Wichita Falls was charged with the murder of 20-year-old Zoe Brewer. Blankenship is accused of causing her death by selling counterfeit Percocet pills that were laced with Fentanyl. Because of that, he is being charged with murder and is in jail on a $1 million bond.
“It’s sad, now you have two ruined lives, one is gone and his is ruined because of what he’s done and we’re just trying to get across we put signs in the school that warns them that one pill can kill and that exactly what happened here,” WFPD PIO Sgt. Charlie Eipper said.
The other, Allen Kordall Smith was arrested Tuesday after almost 300 fentanyl pills were found in his possession. He is now charged with manufactory and delivery of a controlled substance between 4 and 200 grams, and he remains jailed in Wichita County on a $100,500 bond.
Police aren’t sure if there is any connection between Blankenship and Smith, but one thing is for sure - with the rise in fentanyl-related deaths in Wichita country, police are on high alert and out to find those responsible.
The WFPD and the district attorney’s office held a press conference on Aug. 26 to address the issue and send a clear message to those involved in the making and selling of fentanyl in our city.
“If you are out there dealing this stuff, we’re coming after you and we’re serious about it,” Eipper said. “We care about our people and anyone taking others lives in their hands like this, we’re going to catch you, arrest you and prosecute you.”
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