Sheriff’s department sting nets deadly carfentanil

GENESEE COUNTY — A recent sting operation by the Genesee County Sheriff’s Department GHOST team netted a drug dealer who was attempting to bring deadly synthetic heroin into Genesee County.

Interim Sheriff Chris Swanson said last week at his media briefing that the Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team (GHOST), established in 2019 to stop human trafficking in the county, received a complaint that someone was selling synthetic heroin known as carfentanil, locally.

Swanson explained the drug morphine comes from the poppy seed, either from the Middle East or America, and it is a natural poppy seed extract. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, described as 1,000 times more potent than morphine. But even more deadly is carfentanyl, considered 10,000 times more potent than morphine, which is used to put down large animals like elephants.

“It was brought to world in 1970 and used in a very specific part of our medical system, specifically non-humans,” said Swanson. “It is so fatal, the airborne mist from it can drop people dead…and we found out it was being brought into our county and the GHOST team was right on top of it.”

Swanson said the GHOST team set up a buy and bought the first dose, then bought a second dose before making an arrest.

He said he couldn’t offer details, but he said the suspect was “30ish” with an extensive criminal history. Swanson said the carfentanil was sent to a lab and was so dangerous the seller had it triple bagged for transport.

The GHOST team also seized $3,000 cash.

“That’s blood money,” said Swanson. “Many times over that could cause a fatal overdose. Should someone get a hot dose, they can lose their life.”

Swanson warned that with the stress and anxiety caused by the current stay-at-home orders during the COVID-19 crisis, many people are tempted to go back to old ways, like addiction, and he said there are people out there that will take advantage of vulnerable people.

“If you’re struggling with addiction, there are so many places you can go to get help to beat that addiction and control it,” said Swanson. “There are so many different avenues. If you have nowhere to turn, call 911. There are programs we can get you help with.”

Further details on the carfentanil case were not available.