Ten pounds of fentanyl, both in pills and powder, were seized from an Alexandria house in late August as part of an investigation that Rapides Parish Sheriff Mark Wood says is continuing.
“When they told me the amount, I said, say that again?” said Wood.
Four pounds were powder and the rest was more than 28,000 pills that Grant Parish Sheriff Steven McCain said look just like medication that comes from a pharmacy.
“You’ve been hearing a lot in the national news about the pressed pills,” Wood said Tuesday. “Well, they’re here.”
The sheriff office’s RADE unit, which comprises multiple law-enforcement agencies in Rapides and Grant parishes, is heading the investigation. Federal agencies also were involved, and Wood said discussions are being held about whether those arrested will be prosecuted in state or federal court.
McCain said 768 fentanyl pills recently were seized in Grant Parish. He said seizures in both parishes “no doubt” have saved lives.
“What you need to understand is the pills that you’re looking at in these photographs look exactly like a pill that you would get from the pharmacy, and they’re being disguised like that on purpose,” he said.
People need to be aware that the pills are on the street, McCain said.
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“They’re death,” said Rapides Parish District Attorney Phillip Terrell of the pills. “They’re death to our children. They’re death to the people who think they’re getting a Xanax” or other pills that can be bought on the street.
“They’re getting fentanyl, and they take one of these pills and they’re dead.”
Wood said he’s been told the ongoing case reaches south and into Mexico, “possibly with warrants there.”
Three people were arrested Aug. 26 as two search warrants were served in the 1200 block of Monroe Street. One of those was Kevin Love, 50.
Love was arrested on two counts of possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute, two counts of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, two counts of possession of a controlled dangerous substance II, one count of possession of heroin with intent to distribute, one count of possession of a controlled dangerous substance IV, one count possession of drug paraphernalia and one count of resisting an officer.
Online jail records list him as a federal prisoner.
The drugs were found at one of the two homes, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Before the August raids with the Alexandria Police Department’s Special Response Team, an investigation was conducted for three months and included assistance from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.
Another man was arrested on a possession of less than 2.5 pounds of marijuana charge and a probation violation. A woman was arrested on a drug possession charge and a contempt of court warrant. Both later were released on bonds.
Love remains in jail with bail set at more than $3.2 million. He was in court on Monday for a motion to reduce that amount, but it was continued without a new date being set.