Dartmouth Officer Andrew Fredette knew it was a misstep as soon as his bare fingers touched a plastic packet of fentanyl, the drug that is responsible for so many overdose deaths on SouthCoast.

It was a simple motor vehicle stop April 6 on State Road and the officer was doing a search of the vehicle after arresting a Fall River man on a warrant. Fredette reached into the console without wearing his protective gloves and touched the loosely wrapped packets of fentanyl.

“I was kind of kicking myself in the pants,” said Fredette, immediately aware he made a mistake by not wearing his gloves.

Fentanyl is packaged by hand in thin wrapping paper by drug dealers for street sales without any thought of quality control, police said.

Later on that same call, another Dartmouth officer found the suspect’s wallet lying in the roadway and he went through it for suspected contraband without wearing gloves and came in contact with two bags of similarly packaged fentanyl, he said.

“It was enough to be concerned. All they (drug dealers) do is fold it over,” the officer who found the fentanyl in the suspect’s wallet said of the packaging. He did not wish to be identified.

The two officers feared possible overdoses if there were particles of fentanyl on the outside of packets or the bills had been used to snort the drug, they said. Read More