March 14, 2023 |

Photo – Fentanyl Pills – Courtesy Saratoga Police Department

After hearing and reading about, or even seeing first-hand, the devastating effects of the dangerous narcotic fentanyl in America’s big cities for years. Carbon County residents are getting a fast education about its presence in Wyoming.

Three area people died last month from the addictive painkiller that can stop a person’s ability to breathe minutes before they lose consciousness.

Last week, a large stash of fentanyl and methamphetamine was discovered before it could reach the illegal drug markets operating in Wyoming communities.  Lt. Joshua Hardee with the Wyoming Highway Patrol talked to Bigfoot 99 how the bust went down.

Suspicious that they had stopped a drug wholesaler, Wyoming Department of Criminal Investigation agents on the scene called Highway Patrol’s new opioid searching team. Lt. Hardee said the unnamed WHP officer and his canine partner discovered a large stash of illegal narcotics.

The fentanyl bust comes after the Town of Saratoga was shocked by the death of a young couple in February, who were killed when they ingested what they apparently thought was cocaine. Instead, it was fatal dose of fentanyl. Less than two weeks later, a still unnamed Hanna man died under similar circumstances. The 34-year-old man’s name has not been released to protect the investigation. DCI believes the overdose deaths on both sides of I-80 are related. The common thread is the drugs found at the scenes.

DCI is investigating the source of the drugs. Their efforts may have partly paid off with the Evanston bust. WHP’s Lt. Hardee said 1,349 fentanyl laced pills labeled “M30” were found during the search. Chief Morris said the counterfeit tablets are purposely made to resemble prescription Oxycodone.

The counterfeit M30 pills are made by cartel suppliers. Lt. Hardee said the amount of fentanyl can vary widely between batches. He said some tablets are relatively harmless while others are instantly lethal.

Quality control and customer safety are not part of the black-market drug trade business model.

This past Saturday in Saratoga, local officials held a community awareness meeting focused on identifying the effects of illegal narcotics on users. The meeting was a follow-up to a similar roundtable last month on drug abuse. Saratoga Police Chief Mike Morris said SCWEMS Director Stayton Mosbey was on hand Saturday to describe how drugs affect the human body.

While the initial roundtable meeting was well attended, only four residents showed up for Saturday’s gathering. Saturday’s meeting was aimed at helping everyday people spot the difference between various types of drugs.

Drug dealers have resorted to cutting all kinds of street drugs, from cocaine to marijuana, with fentanyl because its cheap, readily available, and addictive—big incentives in the black market trade. Lt. Hardee said the only surefire way to avoid accidental fentanyl exposure is to not take illegal narcotics at all. The WHP officer said no drug is safe from contamination.

During last month’s community roundtable, Saratoga citizens questioned how fentanyl entered the community. Chief Morris said the matter was under DCI investigation. Bigfoot 99 asked Lt. Hardee the same question. He said drug smugglers have a lot of ways to move their product.

Saratoga PD will host another narcotics identification meeting tomorrow, March 15th, at the Platte Valley Community Center starting at 5:30pm.

The bust in Evanston took 1,349 fentanyl pills, almost 4 pounds of meth, and one dealer—a previously convicted felon, off the streets.

Previous articleFentanyl Dealer To Spend Life in Prison
Next article2022 Wyoming Vital Statistic Information Available


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here