Franklin County sheriff continues pledge to combat opioid epidemic as investigation leads to 243 drug-related indictments in five months

Roanoke Valley News
Meeting on heroin- opioids held in Martinsville_89458422

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) – The Franklin County Sheriff’s Office says they have been dedicated to the aggressive pursuit of illegal use and sale of dangerous, illicit drugs in an effort to protect its citizens.

Between July and November of this year, the sheriff’s office’s Narcotics Division has continued an extended drug investigation that has led to 94 individuals who have received 243 indictments directly related to drug activity.

Below is a breakdown of those numbers:

Distribution of marijuana (under 1/2 ounce)9 charges
Possession and/or sale of Schedule I or II drugs198 charges
Possession and/or sale of Schedule III drugs12 charges
Possession and/or sale of Schedule IV drugs8 charges
Possession of Schedule V drugs1 charge
Possession of Schedule VI drugs1 charge
Firearms possession related to drug activity9 charges
Child abuse related to drug activity5 charges

The opioid epidemic has been at the forefront of law enforcement’s minds as they try to combat the growing problem of abuse.

According to officials, fentanyl — a powerful synthetic opioid analgesic — has taken over the substance abuse epidemic by storm. Similar to morphine, with 50 to 100 times the potency, fentanyl is a legal opioid commonly prescribed for pain control.

Fentanyl is reportedly being added to illicit substances to increase its potency and many users are not aware that this is cut into the drugs that they are purchasing.

Recently, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) sent an alert to law enforcement agencies to be aware of counterfeit pills that have entered into the United States that are laced with fentanyl.

An increase in overdose fatalities has been attributed to the takeover of fentanyl and counterfeit pills.

Franklin County Sheriff Bill Overton says his office will continue to work diligently to combat concerns of substance abuse in the county.

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