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Deputy treated with Narcan following possible exposure to fentanyl during traffic stop

Deputy treated with Narcan following possible exposure to fentanyl during traffic stop

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An Erie County sheriff's deputy performing a traffic stop early Friday on the I-190 was given a dose of Naloxone after being possibly exposed to the powerful opioid fentanyl, the Sheriff's Office reported.

The driver who was pulled over was charged with multiple misdemeanors, including criminal possession of a controlled substance, aggravated unlicensed operation of a vehicle and circumventing a mandated interlock device.

Deputies pulled over the driver for vehicle and traffic violations around 12:40 a.m. on the Niagara Thruway, near Long Road on Grand Island. Deputies learned that the driver, Andrew Wills, 34, of Lockport, had a suspended license and they said he was also in possession of crack cocaine and heroin.

"While processing the seized narcotics, a Deputy began showing signs of exposure to fentanyl," a statement from the Sheriff's Office posted to their Facebook page said. "A fellow Deputy administered Naloxone (Narcan), and the stricken deputy was transported to Erie County Medical Center for additional treatment."

Illicitly made fentanyl is much more potent than heroin and is often mixed in with heroin. Illicit fentanyl is a primary driver of fatal overdoses in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and just 2 milligrams of fentanyl can be lethal depending on a person’s body size, tolerance and past usage, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. 

In addition to the misdemeanor charges, Wills was charged with violations for broken glass and operating a vehicle without a license. He was released on appearance tickets.

The deputy was treated and released from ECMC.

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Chief of the Breaking News/Criminal Justice Desk

I've worked at The Buffalo News since 2005. I previously worked as a reporter at the New York Daily News and the Charlotte Observer and was a special correspondent for the Los Angeles Times.

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