TBI issues stern warning on deadly cocaine-fentanyl combination

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Tennessee Bureau of Investigation issued a stern warning to the public after traces of fentanyl were discovered in cocaine samples sent to the agency's lab.

TBI said two people have died of fentanyl-laced cocaine in Atlanta. They are unsure if the samples they analyzed were related to that incident. They are unable to confirm if anyone in Tennessee has died from the tainted cocaine.

Assistant Director of TBI's Drug Investigation Division T.J. Jordan said just a grant of salt-sized sample of fentanyl can be deadly.

"This is not something to mess around with," Jordan said. "It's not worth taking the risk."

TBI agent Tommy Farmer said drug dealers are skirting the legal limits of obtaining and using fentanyl.

TBI agents have already discovered over 300 samples of fentanyl in 2017--up from less than 20 in 2014.

"If you are a drug dealer, stop. This is serious," Jordan said. "People are dying."

TBI said it will pursue those who are cutting cocaine or other drugs with fentanyl "relentlessly." Jordan said those people will become public enemy number 1.

TBI also said cocaine use in on the uptick, which could make the cutting method even deadlier.

"We're not out to put drug users in prison," Jordan said. "We're out to put good drug dealers in prison."

If you or anyone you know is dealing with substance abuse issues, you can call 1-800-889-9789 for help.

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