Law enforcement continues crackdown on Fentanyl

Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 6:13 PM CDT
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WICHITA COUNTY, Texas (KAUZ) - The Wichita County District Attorney recently announced they would be charging people with murder if they’ve distributed drugs that resulted in someone’s death.

Since then, the Wichita Falls Police Department has announced three arrests following fentanyl-related deaths. But, not all of those arrests are for people who actually sold the drugs.

Sgt. Charlie Eipper did not deny the effects fentanyl has had on Wichita Falls. He said in this year alone, there have been 15 fentanyl-related deaths in Wichita Falls.

But with one of the most recent arrests, one of the people charged with murder was not actually the person who sold the drug. Eipper explained how someone can be charged even if they are not directly supplying the victim.

“It can be as simple as even somebody that‘s not even seen both parties, the one who sells and the one who buys it and takes it,” Eipper said. “But, if I make a phone call for that person who wants to buy it and set up the deal, then there’s a death, I could be held liable for that as well.”

Eipper said there is no telling how much fentanyl is being distributed around Texoma.

He stressed that you should not take pills that are not prescribed to you, and it’s concerning to him that people are still buying and selling fentanyl. The WFPD is also trying to promote their One Pill Can Kill campaign.

The Iowa Park Police Department is also aware of the growing issue with fentanyl deaths. Although the department has only encountered one fentanyl case, they are not afraid to pursue serious charges.

Lieutenant David Mauldwin said the fentanyl case is being reviewed and it caused the death of one person.

Mauldwin said he’s seen that the issue is growing in other cities and they are backing up the district attorney on serious cases. He has also talked to his officers about dealing with the drug head-on.

“It just takes a little bit to overdose you and kill you and that’s what I try to remind all of the officers,” Mauldwin said. “That’s why whenever they’re going to a situation, where if it’s pills or some type of substance and they’re not sure what it is, to wear their personal protective gear, don’t touch it, don’t be exposed to it. That’s for their own safety.”

Mauldwin said he hopes the drug dealers who are selling fentanyl get a clear message of the severity of the issue.

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