Sheriff, DA say fight against fentanyl an uphill battle, gangs play major role

BLOUNTVILLE, Tenn. (WJHL) — Perhaps the most alarming thing when an assistant prosecutor with the Second Judicial District told his boss three people in Kingsport had died of drug overdoses in one night was this: District Attorney Barry Staubus wasn’t even that alarmed.

The longtime prosecutor’s lack of surprise is down to one thing: fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that’s 100 times more powerful than morphine, cheap to produce and showing up laced into everything from other opioids to methamphetamine and even cocaine.

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