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KANSAS CITY, Kan. —Kansas City, Kansas police officers recovered thousands of fentanyl-laced pills during a local sweep over the weekend.

The department’s Narcotics Unit seized over 10,000 counterfeit prescription pills during a routine sweep of a local shipping distribution center.

The package was shipped from within the United States into Kansas City, with a street value of $100,000.

“The KCKPD wants dealers and suppliers to know that Kansas City, Kansas is not the place to be doing business,” Capt. John Diaz with KCKPD Narcotics Unit said.

“We are conducting routine sweeps with the assistance of drug-sniffing K9s in a variety of facilities, including those that process packages.”

Diaz said last year the department seized about 150,000 pills and expect to seize even more in 2023. 

“We’re taking a little bit off the street each time,” Diaz said. “Each time we do that we’re possibly saving a life each time her in our community.”

The pills recovered by KCKPD are nearly identical to those distributed at a pharmacy, but contain potentially lethal amounts of fentanyl. Police say the drug is up to 50-times stronger than heroin and 100 times stronger than morphine. Once ingested or inhaled, most overdoses occur within minutes. 

“One pill can literally kill you,” Diaz said “You’re gambling with your life each time you take a pill that you do not know where it comes from.”

“Narcan needs to be in every family, every person’s first aid kit,” President and CEO of First Call Emily Hage said.

First Call is a Charity focused on Drug/Alcohol prevention and education.

She said fentanyl is 50 times stronger than heroin.

In 2022, KCKPD responded to 174 overdoses with 40 resulting in a death. That represents a significant increase over 2021, when officers responded to 111 overdoses and 23 resulted in a death. 

“We also are seeing counterfeit pills that are falling into the hands of young people,” Hage said.

If you are with someone who exhibits symptoms of overdose and becomes unresponsive after ingesting or snorting a drug, call 911 immediately. 

If you have any information regarding the sale of fentanyl, or any illegal drugs, you’re encouraged to anonymously call the KCKPD Narcotics 24-hour Hotline at 913-573-6287.