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True Crime Lite: The Kind of Dopes That Label Their Dope

While the True Crime Lite series is meant to be light and humorous, I feel that an issue should be addressed before the start of the story. Fentanyl has become a devastating plague ravaging the U.S. Across the country people are dying in droves as most unknowingly take the drug after it's been mixed into something else. Police officers are also having to learn new rules for handling drug seizures as the substance is too dangerous to even allow it to touch your skin. There isn't a community left in our nation that hasn't been touched by this epidemic. While this story still keeps with the humorous tone as every other True Crime Lite post, the presence of Fentanyl moved me to address the issue faced by our country. The Fentanyl epidemic is a serious one that deserves more attention.

Police Mag reported that in 2020, two men were pulled over driving a gray Kia sedan in Santa Rosa County, Florida for driving 25 miles over the speed limit. According to USA Today, the men were speeding at 95 miles-per-hour when a trooper with the Florida Highway Patrol made the stop. Ian Christian Simmons and Joshua Michael Reinhardt were both 36-years-old and in no position to be getting stopped by police. It was quickly found that Reinhardt had a warrant in Orange County for suspicion of probation violation and backup was called in. A Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Deputy and his K-9, Prince, arrived to search the car.

What started off as a simple traffic stop that should've ended with a speeding ticket and a date with traffic court quickly turned on its head. Prince hit on a familiar scent and alerted his handler to exhibit A. Officers found a white zip-up bag with the words "Bag Full of Drugs" printed in large black letters on the front. Upon opening the bag they found that it actually was a "Bag Full of Drugs." Inside they discovered 75 grams of methamphetamine, 1.36 kilograms of GHB, 1 gram of cocaine, 3.6 grams of fentanyl, and 15 MDMA tablets among paraphernalia.

Both men were arrested and charged with "possession of drug equipment and two counts apiece of drug trafficking and possession charges." Police Mag quoted a post from the Santa Rosa County Sheriff's Office's Facebook page, saying, "Note to self - do not traffic your illegal narcotics in bags labeled "Bag Full of Drugs." Our K-9's can read." Though one can't help but to shake their head and chuckle at the sheer stupidity of these two, officers found the presence of fentanyl less amusing.

Lieutenant Robert Cannon of the Florida Highway Patrol spoke on the dangers of fentanyl, saying that "Three grams is enough to kill an elephant." It's because of this highly deadly and dangerous substance that officers are no longer allowed to unwrap drugs. Mere contact with the skin is enough to set off a reaction. Cannon cites several instances in which officers across the country have been hospitalized after coming in contact with it. Having seen what fentanyl is capable of, he says, "It can almost stop your breathing." Rather than unwrapping drugs on-scene, officers take them to the lab now to ensure that evidence is safely opened. This lethal narcotic has certainly changed the drug game in many ways from both sides, making users and police both wary.

Some takeaways: Not everything needs a label, and if it does then your time would be better spent with a doctor. Also, while speed kills, speed + drugs = either death or arrest. The final and most important takeaway is that fentanyl is a dangerous substance that has killed many that did not even know they were taking it. It really just doesn't pay to experiment with drugs these days.

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