Metro police arrest 9 in undercover drug operation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A deadly trend in Nashville is putting law enforcement on high alert as the city braces for hundreds of visitors for the holiday weekend. Dangerous drugs are sold on the streets, especially in the city centre.

“I never thought fentanyl would be as widely available as it is now,” said Monti Herring, a regional overdose prevention specialist at STARS.

Drug overdoses are a problem Herring says his department is popping up all over Middle Tennessee. It’s no secret that there has been an increase in drugs laced with lethal doses of fentanyl.

To solve the opioid problem, lawmakers recently passed legislation that no longer considers fentanyl dipsticks to be drug paraphrenia. Herring explained that this is just one of the ways to fight the epidemic.

“People who put fentanyl in their product don’t measure it, so it doesn’t get put into their product at night. Also, if a person has fentanyl test strips and tests part of the product used, they can get a negative result because it wasn’t evenly distributed,” Herring explained.

In the past week, the Metro Nashville Police Department arrested nine men in the area. According to police, undercover cops have been working hard to catch these criminals selling drugs including cocaine, marijuana and, in some cases, fentanyl bags. Herring says for some addicts, the stronger the drug, the better.

“People who intentionally put fentanyl in their products know their customers, they know their clientele, they know who is buying their product. If four people or three people are known to have overdosed on that particular product from that person, a lot of people will be drawn to it because it’s potent,” Herring said.

With hundreds set to head to Music City for Memorial Day weekend, drugs and crime are on the minds of some.

“We would like to see more businesses, more bars, more music venues willing to have naloxone or narcan on their premises or property, and/or trained staff so that people who come to Nashville have a good time.” , but if something happens, but if someone overdoses, we’d love to have that staff and give them Narcan,” Herring said.

STARS is hosting its first annual community celebration in hopes of community resources and interactive activities. The event is scheduled for June 11th and will be held at the Youth Opportunity Center in the back parking lot at the corner of 17th and Charlotte Avenues. The hope is to connect, educate and spread awareness of the various resources available to the community.

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For those seeking treatment for drug addiction, the Community Overdose Response Team (CORT) can help. CORT is a free and confidential resource to help find drug and alcohol treatment for people at risk of overdose. The service is offered free of charge regardless of health insurance status. The team works with an individual to determine the appropriate level of care (e.g., detox, inpatient or outpatient treatment, etc.). To make a recommendation or learn more about this resource for our community, call CORT at 615-687-1701. Metro police arrest 9 in undercover drug operation

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