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Enough fentanyl to kill 139,000 people | Rockingham County Sheriff addresses large drug bust

On July 21, 2022, authorities conducted a search warrant in Ruffin and seized enough fentanyl to kill the entire population of Rockingham County.

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY, N.C. — Rockingham County Sheriff Sam Page said addressing the source of illegal drugs entering the United States is key to stopping the drug problem in Rockingham County.

On July 21, 2022 the Rockingham County Sheriff's Office and the Department of Homeland Security served a search warrant at a home on Ruffin Road and found enough fentanyl to kill 139,000 people, more than the population of Rockingham County.

The total amount of drugs found was valued at about $100,000.

"Fentanyl is very big across this country right now," Page said. "The Mexican drug cartels are making a lot of money moving fentanyl and heroin."

Page said stopping the flow of illegal drugs into North Carolina is a collaborative effort between local, state, and federal leaders. He said it will also take cooperation from the Mexican government as well. 

RELATED: Nearly 300 grams of drugs seized after search in Rockingham County home

"It's all money-driven," Page said. "I think the estimate is over $52 billion a year business with (the) illegal drug trade. Over 95% of the illegal drugs, fentanyl heroin, and other drugs, are coming through our southern border (...) with Mexico and that’s why it’s important to pay attention."

According to Page, 108,000 Americans died in 2021 of a heroin and fentanyl overdose.

Experts said fentanyl being mixed with other drugs is also creating a problem and leading to death. Page said it only takes a small amount of fentanyl to kill someone. 

"You just never know, when that time comes that you shoot up or you snort heroin and turns out that it's mixed with fentanyl and takes your life and takes you out of here and you don't get a second chance."

Page said addressing addiction is also important to stopping drugs in the county. He said the county is looking at offering medically assisted treatment in jails to help people through addiction, but they will need to figure out how to pay for it first. 

RELATED: CDC: Drug overdose deaths in the US increased by 30%, driven by fentanyl

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