Kennewick police find fentanyl-contaminated foil, warns public of potential dangers

Officials say if you see something, call police immediately who will then properly dispose of everything

KENNEWICK, Wash. — After police found aluminum foil strips contaminated with fentanyl at a public park in Kennewick Tuesday morning, they’re now warning the community of the potential dangers that come with the usage of the drug.

An officer was walking around a park to check on an abandoned car when he noticed “aluminum foil strips that were being blown down the street and into the grass area where children frequently play,” according to this KPD Facebook post.

On the strips were burnt black lines, consistent with smoking fentanyl pills. Other names for fentanyl include “mexi’s” and “blues.”

Officials said even the small amounts of residue left on the foils could be “extremely dangerous.”

Lt. Jason Kiel, the public information officer for KPD, said to err on the side of caution if you come across drug paraphernalia like foils or needles.

“If you’re walking through parks or you’re out there with kids and you see something like that, just call us and we’ll come over and we’ll gather it up and dispose of it,” Lt. Kiel said. “It’s not super common to get these calls but we do get them every once in a while.”

According to the Benton County Coroner’s website, in Benton County, there were 20 fentanyl-related deaths in 2020 and eight in 2019.

Coroner William Leach said there have been 11 confirmed deaths related to fentanyl overdose so far in 2021.

“Fentanyl is now the predominant cause of drug overdose in Benton County,” Leach said.

Leach added that there is virtually no quality control for the pills since they’re mostly made in different countries and brought over.

“There’s no quality control when it comes to making illicit fentanyl. It will kill you,” Leach said. “They may use fentanyl over and over and over the little blue pills and not have any issues whatsoever other than they get high and the one time they get the pill that has twice the amount or five times the amount of what they’re used to, they’ll inhale the fumes or the torch and that’s that.”

Lt. Kiel agreed, noting that “there is no way to know how much fentanyl is actually in each pill.”

“Many times we find when we do find them they still have the lighter in one hand and maybe some foil in the other hand or they’re laying on the floor on top of the foil or the lighter because it hit them instantaneously,” Leach said.

Officials said that if you or someone you know needs help that it’s okay to reach out.

“Seek the resources, talk to somebody you trust, find somebody in a church that you trust, talk to your doctor. Maybe they can offer you the assistance you need,” Leach said.

KPD offered a list of local resources here:

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