Rusk County sheriff discusses fentanyl spreading into East Texas

Valdez says that fentanyl is being distributed in various forms. “They will disguise it to look like candy, like ibuprofen tablet, an Advil tablet,” he says
Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 5:45 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 22, 2022 at 7:23 PM CDT
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - Problems with fentanyl aren’t just happening along the southern border or in another state; varying amounts of it have been found in East Texas.

The Rusk County Sheriff’s Office is warning the public that the deadly drug has appeared frequently in their county over the past year.

“One dose of this stuff will ruin your life, if not take it. If everybody stops doing it, there’s no market for it. That’s not going to happen,” says Rusk County Sheriff Johnwayne Valdez.

Amounts of fentanyl have been seized in Rusk County during the course of criminal investigations during 2022.

“Time and time again, we keep coming back with traces of fentanyl or a certain amount of the weight of (the seized drug) was fentanyl,” the sheriff says.

In an effort to promote public safety and awareness, Valdez is informing the public how suspected fentanyl has been found and confiscated in Rusk County.

Personifying the battle law enforcement is fighting, a white SUV sits in the sheriff’s office parking lot. The vehicle was pulled over in a traffic stop earlier in the year, and upon search, officers found eight pounds of fentanyl inside.

“We thought he got eight pounds of ecstasy. It was all fentanyl,” Valdez says.

And there’s a considerable risk to his officers when searching suspects.

“You come in contact with this stuff, or inhale it just by breathing normally, it can put you unconscious,” he says.

Exposure to fentanyl may be fatal, as it can be absorbed into the body by inhalation or skin contact.

Valdez says that fentanyl is being distributed in various forms.

“They will disguise it to look like candy, like ibuprofen tablet, an Advil tablet,” he says.

All Rusk County deputies are equipped with a supply of narcan to counteract the effects of fentanyl if they should come in contact with it.