Sheriff: Deputy arrest for fentanyl shines light on larger problem in Lubbock
LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Tuesday afternoon, the Lubbock County Sheriff’s Office arrested a detention officer for buying fentanyl from an undercover officer, reportedly with plans to distribute it to inmates inside the jail. Taylor Millett, 27, was charged with possession with intent to distribute. The department is also looking to file federal charges. Sheriff Kelly Rowe addressed the situation Tuesday, calling the deputy’s actions unfathomable.
“For my part in the matter, you know, we look at this very hard. The reason you see me standing out here, you know, because it is one of our own, was one of our own I should say,” Rowe said.
The sheriff says she was caught buying fentanyl from an undercover officer, and deputies believe a portion was intended for personal use, and the other for delivery to a specific inmate at the jail.
Before she was fired Tuesday, Millett worked as a detention officer for about two years. Rowe says at this point in the investigation, deputies don’t know if she’s ever successfully brought the deadly synthetic drug into the jail.
“Well, that’s hard to say, you know, one of the things that investigators took note of which she absolutely had nothing record-wise, not so much as even a traffic ticket,” Rowe said.
Rowe says he can’t fathom her actions and has to hand down a harsh punishment because deputies are supposed to maintain care as inmates go through the system.
A local Drug Enforcement Administration agent says 2-8 mg. of fentanyl can be a deadly dose. Millett’s charge is for ‘Possession of a Control Substance 400G with Intent to Distribute.’
“We’re just not going to tolerate it. We’ve had issues with that stuff when it gets in here. It is so highly dangerous, the quantities we’re seeing coming through Lubbock right now, the amount of overdoses attributed to it,” Rowe said.
He says inside the jail, overdoses from fentanyl are not common, but they’ve happened before. The local DEA agent says, in general, Lubbock is on par with the rest of the state. He says fentanyl is here and it’s not going anywhere. With three months left in the year, Texas Poison Control has already fielded three times the number of fentanyl calls across the state as last year.
“The epidemic we’re seeing of it here in Lubbock, the counterfeiting of this. A lot of times we’ve got individuals that may be thinking they’re getting an Ecstasy or an Adderall and it’s actually, you know, it’s actually just a counterfeit fentanyl pill because that’s become the most profitable and easiest thing to traffic in and around our community,” Rowe said.
Rowe says the jail has provisions in place to help to keep drugs out, like switching to electronic mail and body scanners.
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