KANSAS CITY, Kan. —Kansas City, Kansas Police officers recovered thousands of fentanyl pills during a local sweep over the weekend.
The department’s Narcotics Unit seized more than 10,000 counterfeit pills during a routine sweep of a local shipping distribution center.
The package was shipped from the United States to Kansas City, with a street value of $100,000.
“The KCKPD wants merchants and suppliers to know that Kansas City, Kansas is not the place to do business,” said Captain John Diaz of the KCKPD’s Narcotics Unit.
“We are conducting routine checks with the assistance of drug sniffing K9s at a variety of facilities, including those that process parcels.”
Diaz said the department seized about 150,000 pills last year and plans to seize even more in 2023.
“We’re taking a little bit off the road each time,” Diaz said. “Every time we do that, maybe we’re saving a life every time it enters our community.”
The pills recovered from the KCKPD are nearly identical to those dispensed at pharmacies, but contain potentially lethal amounts of fentanyl. Police say the drug is up to 50 times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. Once ingested or inhaled, most overdoses occur within minutes.
“One pill can literally kill you,” Diaz said. “You’re gambling with your life every time you take a pill you don’t know where it’s coming from.”
“Narcan needs to be in every family, every person’s first aid kit,” said Emily Hage, president and CEO of First Call.
First Call is a charity focused on drug/alcohol prevention and education.
He said fentanyl is 50 times stronger than heroin.
In 2022, KCKPD responded to 174 overdoses of which 40 resulted in death. This represents a significant increase from 2021, when officers responded to 111 overdoses and 23 resulted in deaths.
“We’re also seeing counterfeit pills falling into the hands of young people,” Hage said.
If you are with someone who is showing overdose symptoms and is unresponsive after swallowing or sniffing a drug, call 911 immediately.
If you have information regarding the sale of fentanyl or any illegal drug, you are encouraged to anonymously call the KCKPD’s 24-hour Narcotics Hotline at 913-573-6287.