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A local television news station in Utah reported on Tuesday that a bulletin has been issued to law enforcement agencies warning officers of the dangers of fentanyl “disguised to look like marijuana.” Citing an “internal law enforcement bulletin” of unidentified origin, KUTV in Salt Lake City reported in an online written story that instances of fentanyl disguised to resemble cannabis has become a “trend” and that law enforcement agencies “across the country” were being warned of the potential dangers.
In a video report of the story, reporter Jim Spiewak of KUTV, Salt Lake City’s CBS affiliate, said that his information had come from a law enforcement bulletin that had originated in Ohio, although he did not say when it had been issued. Spiewak said that the bulletin, which “was for police officer eyes only, pretty much,” had been shared with him by an unidentified source.
Spiewak reported that law enforcement officers had encountered fentanyl that had been “designed to look like pot, but it’s much more dangerous” and that samples recovered by police “weren’t marijuana at all.” No indication of how such a feat could be accomplished was given.
The local television news report also displayed photographs of what appeared to be cannabis that Spiewak said had come from the bulletin, which he said was titled simply “Officer Safety,” while giving no indication of its source. No text from the bulletin was shared.
“For security reasons, we had to redact the narrative,” said Spiewak less than convincingly.
The reporter noted that he had “reached out to multiple police departments” about any potential discoveries of fentanyl disguised to like cannabis that may have been made in Utah.
“They tell me they haven’t seen it. Yet,” Spiewak reported ominously.
Sgt. Brandon Shearer of the Salt Lake City Police Department said it may just be a matter of time before the drug is found locally.
“When you start seeing something anywhere in the U.S., there’s a good chance it’s going to spread across the country,” said Shearer.
“You don’t know where it came from, you don’t know how it was made, and you’re really taking a huge personal safety risk by taking those substances in,” Shearer added.
As early as two years ago, news stories of cannabis that had been laced with fentanyl began making headlines, but this may be the first time fentanyl disguised to look like cannabis has been reported, albeit rather dubiously.
Efforts to reach Spiewak via telephone and social media for more information about the law enforcement bulletin were unsuccessful. Perhaps he’s busy working on a story about all the cannabis edibles that are rumored to be given out to trick-or-treaters this Halloween.
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