Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo (R) is calling for an increase in penalties for fentanyl possession amid revelations that five Nevada sheriffs were hospitalized for possible fentanyl exposure after a drug bust.
A video obtained by Nevada-based News 4 & Fox 11 showed the moments several Douglas County Sheriff deputies began to exhibit symptoms from suspected fentanyl exposure.
Footage of the October 2022 incident, obtained through a public records request, shows an arriving deputy encountering a deputy seated while other deputies tend to him and administer sprays of Narcan.
Narcan is a nasal spray that counteracts the effects of a fentanyl overdose.
Minutes later, the footage appears to show another deputy standing near a patrol truck, falling to the ground unresponsive.
ONLY ON @KRNV: Body camera video shows when five Douglas Co. deputies started suffering symptoms after a fentanyl bust.
The footage shows a deputy fall to the ground unresponsive while other deputies yell to “Dose him!” with Narcan
Story: https://t.co/yUUVYLp7Y2 pic.twitter.com/gOAi5AnyQi
— Ben Margiott (@BenMargiott) February 16, 2023
“Dose him, dose him,” the deputies shouted, referring to the Narcan sprays.
“A detective opened a container and there was just kind of a small puff of almost like talcum powder-like substance, super fine, that became airborne,” Douglas County Sheriff Dan Coverley said of the October 2022 incident.
“As we opened that container, it pressurized just like on a plane and pushed some of the substance out,” he added.
Five deputies were reportedly hospitalized as a precaution for suspected fentanyl exposure. Each deputy was released the following morning.
However, one of the deputy’s exposure “was so intense” that “they thought he died,” Coverley explained.
“(The first deputy’s) exposure was so intense that it wasn’t until the fifth administer of nasal naloxone that he responded, his eyes rolled back up into his head. They thought he died,” he told News 4.
Fentanyl deaths have increased over the years, both in Nevada and nationwide. In Nevada, 144 people died from fentanyl-related overdoses, up from 79 in 2021 and 56 in 2020. Additionally, the 2022 death numbers may increase because “some cases are still under investigation and awaiting final toxicology reports,” News 4 reported.
Despite the uptick in fentanyl deaths, some Nevada Democrats have called for creating “hygienic spaces” where adults can engage in supervised drug use.
Nevada Democrat lawmaker David Orentlicher sponsored an assembly bill to “provide a hygienic space where persons who are at least 18 years of age may consume drugs that they have obtained before arriving in the space.”
However, Lombardo is calling on the Nevada legislature to pass a bill that would increase the penalties for fentanyl possession.
“Our brave law enforcement officers are on the frontlines of the fentanyl epidemic every single day. Even right here in Douglas Co,” Lombardo tweeted. “We must to recommit to fighting fentanyl in NV. I’m starting by introducing a bill that makes fentanyl possession in ANY amount a category B felony.”
Our brave law enforcement officers are on the frontlines of the fentanyl epidemic every single day. Even right here in Douglas Co.
We must to recommit to fighting fentanyl in NV. I’m starting by introducing a bill that makes fentanyl possession in ANY amount a category B felony. https://t.co/q6llfJK3K5
— Governor Joe Lombardo (@JosephMLombardo) February 16, 2023
Jordan Dixon-Hamilton is a reporter for Breitbart News. Write to him at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter.