WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — From January 2022 to July 2022, the Wichita Falls Police Department has seen at least 50 cases with fentanyl, 15 of them resulting in death.
“About two weeks ago, about 35lbs was seized in Lawton, Oklahoma. How close is that to us?” Chief Felony Prosecutor Dobie Kosub said.
A single pill containing fentanyl can be lethal, but what makes this drug most dangerous is that it’s being sold as a counterfeit to other common street drugs. So people are buying them unintentionally. One pound of this drug can produce 25,000 lethal pills.
“It’s so scary because you, a child doesn’t know or a kid may not know what they’re getting with the pill. They think they’re getting Xanax that’s laced with fentanyl and can cause their lungs to stop working and can cause almost immediate death,” Wichita County District Attorney John Gillespie said.
On top of fentanyl being very lethal and fast acting, just like any opioid, it’s addicting.
Rhonda Wyatt has been sober for two years and three months, but her journey was not easy. She says addiction is a mental illness.
“Some people are able to quit. I tried to quit multiple times and I’d be clean for a week and then I’m back on it,” Wyatt said.
This city has now decided that all fentanyl-related deaths will be treated as homicide or manslaughter cases.
“Texas law recognizes that more than one person can be responsible for a death. Taking the paradigm of treating the overdose death as a homicide is a new tool that we have and we’ve seen epidemic so we’re applying that,” Gillespie said.
Wichita Falls PD says they’re working with all law enforcement agencies to eliminate this fatal threat.
“If you deal fentanyl in Wichita County, we’re coming for you,” Kosub said.
Taking any drug not prescribed to you is dangerous and illegal and remember, it takes only one pill to kill.