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Franklin police discuss spread of fentanyl into their community

Franklin PD seized 500 pills from one home earlier this week
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Posted at 9:50 AM, Mar 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-17 18:19:23-04

FRANKLIN — No one in law enforcement in Franklin is surprised or shocked that fentanyl is looking to take root in this community south of Indianapolis.

Just this week, police seized 500 fentanyl pills from one home.

Franklin Police Chief Kirby Cochran could not provide any details at this time, because the investigtion is ongoing.

Fentanyl is addictive and potentially deadly if tampered and or mixed with other substances.

"Kids are experimenting with it and trying it. It's easy to get your hands on and we need to work together in the community to combat this," said Franklin Police Chief Cochran.

His detectives are working on a number of cases. In 2022, 295 fentanyl pills were brought into the evidence room at Franklin PD, but that number has been doubled in the first three months of this year with 628 pills.

"We are definitely concerned simply because statistics show about a 38% increase in fentanyl deaths throughout the United States, so it's not just here," Cochran said.

There is not one type of buyer of fentanyl. Police are seeing a wide range of users with no regard to gender or race or age.

"We've see all ages" said Lt. Chris Tennell, who oversees investigations for the Franklin Police Department. "Recently we've seen a great increase in the number of pills on the streets or being sold in our community."

He was wearing blue gloves when he showed us another set of the illegal fentanyl with a local street value of $4 to $10 a pill.

"As a father in the community, I want other parents, grandparent, schools teachers to know what they look like, they come in various forms," Tennell said. "What we're seeing here locally are blue ones, but they come in other colors and they are stamped with M on one side and 30 on the other."

Despite a number of drug crackdowns in Johnson County over the past two years, authorities believe drug dealers apparently are focused on their ability to profit off the pills.

"They don't think they are going to get caught and they want to turn a profit," Tennell said. "They want to take what money they have, go purchase cheap pills, they are not expensive to purchase, and then they're flipping the pills increasing their money 5 times."

Overall, police tell WRTV fentanyl is cheaper than heroin but stronger.

This discussion with Franklin Police came on the same day law enforcement in Johnson County from the Sheriff's Office to Greenwood Police disclosed the arrest of more than 30 people for a variety of drug charges.