Officials see spike in fentanyl cases in Warren County

Director of the Warren County Drug Task Force, Tommy Loving, says that the task force is doing everything in their power to mitigate fentanyl in the county.
Published: Feb. 28, 2023 at 10:43 PM CST
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Warren County has seen several overdoses related to fentanyl in just the last two weeks alone.

As fentanyl use increases, WBKO spoke with the Warren County Drug Task Force to see how severe the problem is.

“In 2021, our detectives actually investigated or made purchases of trafficking and fentanyl, a total of eight cases,” said task force Director Tommy Loving. “In ‘22, we were up to 35 cases. In the first two months of this year, we’re already at 12.”

Loving says that the task force is doing everything in their power to mitigate fentanyl in the county, but cannot disclose the force’s efforts to avoid tipping off potential drug dealers.

“If you’re selling drugs in Warren County, we’re going to do everything we can to arrest you for drug trafficking,” Loving said. “If you sell drugs and cause death from those drugs, we’re going to redouble those efforts and do our best to arrest you and put you in jail for causing that overdose death along with the drug trafficking.”

Commonwealth Attorney for the 8th judicial circuit, Kori Beck Bumgarner, echoed Loving’s sentiments.

Bumgarner told WBKO officials have been meeting with community members, law enforcement, and even school superintendents to figure out the best way to address the issue.

Bumgarner said, “I think that we’re trying to approach this problem from any different level that we can, be it from the school system, from law enforcement, from a prosecution standpoint, to try to hit all the information that we can and get that out to the public.”

Though Bumgarner says that it’s proving to be a difficult problem to address on a legislative level.

“I think right now, the trafficking and fentanyl is moving so quickly that our legislature has not been able to respond to it appropriately,” Bumgarner said. “This has reached our communities at a level that I think we’ve not really seen ever before.”

Loving added that there is no real way to distinguish if a substance has been laced with fentanyl outside of a laboratory, but he does offer this piece of advice to keep safe.

“Don’t take a pill, don’t take any substance, if it didn’t come through a pharmacy and was prescribed for you. It kind of goes back to the old Nancy Reagan thing; just say no.”

Lovings asks that those with information on fentanyl in the county report it online or to the anonymous drug tip line 270-781-3784.