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Heroin, Fentanyl Crime Lab Submissions Spike in Tennessee

By Josh Mitchell

Corinth Today News Editor

The state bureau of investigation in nearby Tennessee saw a notable increase in heroin and fentanyl submissions to crime labs last year, according to the agency.

Local law enforcement officials have also expressed concerns that Corinth and Alcorn County could see an increase in heroin and fentanyl.

In 2017, TBI crime labs identified heroin in 1,178 submissions compared to 783 in 2016, a 50 percent increase. And fentanly was identified in 385 TBI crime lab submissions, up from 209 the year before, an 84 percent spike.

The fentanyl and heroin increases seen in Tennessee further underscore concerns about those drugs coming into the local area, said Alcorn County Sheriff Ben Caldwell.

“That’s a prime example of what we’re going to see here,” Caldwell said.

A 2016 U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration report said heroin availability is “likely to increase in the near term” and also predicted that the “fentanyl market will continue to expand . . .”

The Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics handled 41 heroin cases in 2015; 82 in 2016; and 76 in 2017, the agency said. Those were only the cases that MBN was involved with, and there could have been more handled by other agencies.

Likewise, MBN had six fentanyl cases in 2015; three in 2016; and six in 2017.

Local law enforcement officials have expressed concerns that Corinth and Alcorn County could see an increase in heroin and fentanyl.

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