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Mid-South law enforcement agencies team up to tackle fentanyl sales

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 9:58 PM CDT
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DESOTO COUNTY, Miss. (WMC) - Officers with the Southaven Narcotics Unit and the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics are cracking down on the sale of fentanyl.

Investigators say it is a number one priority. Neighbors of a man accused of selling the synthetic opioid say they are shocked.

Tuesday, agents with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and Southaven Narcotics Unit went to a house in Olive Branch and arrested 32-year-old James Thompson, who investigators say was caught in a sting selling an ounce of the powerful synthetic opioid, fentanyl. The National Institute of Health describes it as 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine.

Southaven Police Chief Macon Moore says fentanyl is a problem.

“It’s absolutely a problem in this metro area for sure. It’s a problem in any metropolitan area,” he said.

Moore says overdoses have kept officers busy administering Narcan to bring people out of an overdose.

“We’ve applied Narcan to overdose victims over 25 times,” said Moore.

WMC talked with several people in the Olive Branch neighborhood who said they are shocked by the arrest. They say they have talked with Thompson in passing.

Investigators say fentanyl is produced in clandestine labs primarily in Mexico and it is frequently used with heroin for a more powerful high. They say the problem comes when you buy street drugs, you don’t know the potency and you can overdose.

Moore says officers are not backing away from the problem.

Thompson is charged with three counts of the sale of fentanyl. He is being held in a $150,000 bond.

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