Authorities recently busted a couple in Florida for selling fentanyl-laced drugs from a makeshift drive-thru window, causing a string of overdoses.
Officers with the Ocala Police Department raided the mobile home of William Parrish Jr. and McKenzee Dobbs on Aug. 23 in Marion County following an investigation into a local narcotics distribution operation. The pair allegedly turned their kitchen window into a drive-thru in order to draw less attention to their sales, and had open and closed signs to notify buyers, reported the Miami Herald.
Parrish Jr. and Dobbs also had signs pointing buyers in the direction of their trailer. An undercover officer went to the trailer on Aug. 9 after several local overdoses and he purchased an unidentified controlled substance from Dobbs. (RELATED: Heroin Dealer Faces Life In Prison After Pleading Guilty To Causing 27 Opioid Overdoses, Including Nine That Proved Fatal)
“We were seeing some overdose incidents that were happening in this particular area, specifically at this particular location,” said Ocala Police Capt. Steven Cuppy, according to the Miami Herald. “There [were] some heroin sales that were going on there. Subsequently, through the investigation, we were able to determine that product was laced with fentanyl.”
The couple is being held at Marion County Jail on numerous charges and will appear in court on Sept. 25.
Synthetic opioids like fentanyl killed roughly 27,000 people across the U.S. in 2017, up from roughly 19,413 in 2016 and 9,580 lives in 2015, according to a July report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Overall, drug overdoses are the leading cause of accidental death for Americans under age 50, killing more than 64,000 people in 2016, according to the CDC. Officials say preliminary data shows drug overdoses killed roughly 72,000 people across the U.S. in 2017.
The epidemic is contributing to declining life expectancy in the U.S., officials say. Life expectancy dropped for the second consecutive year in 2016 for the first time since an outbreak of influenza in 1962 and 1963.
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