Austin, Texas: Fentanyl Found in Marijuana.

This much fentanyl will kill a human.


AUSTIN – (WBAP/KLIF) – Austin Police report initial testing of substances seized during initial investigation and arrests in connection with its “overdose week” finds deadly fentanyl in marijuana.

Further, more intensive testing is being done on all the substances seized, including the seized marijuana and other substances, reported to be or “look alikes” to crack, cocaine, heroin, K2, methamphetimines, Ecstasy, and in at least once case, a look alike Xanax pill. 9 people died amid 77 overdoses, most in a 2-day period, though scattered overdose calls believed related to the crime continued for the better part of a week. The first related overdose was reported on Monday, April 29th, although authorities later attributed a Sunday April 28th evening overdose to the spate of fentanyl-poisoned street drugs.

Austin-Travis County’s emergency responders initially responded to overdose calls in the city’s downtown core, followed by scattered overdoses in South Austin, and then further reported in all areas of the city and county, which included death of a victim or victims while on the job in employer’s offices.

Austin-Travis County EMS quickly worked with other agencies and groups to distribute hundreds of doses of Narcan, which can work to reverse an opiod overdose if administered in time, and enough of it is administered. Among the Narcan recipients, addicts on the street – possible help for those who could have still fallen victim to the fentanyl overdose placed in the street drugs responsible for the emergency,

Austin Police initiated a massive undercover and intelligence-gathering effort in the downtown core, where the first and many overdoses were reported, and arrested several suspects. Most are held on various charges as the investigation proceeds, with the goal, if applicable, of charging those responsible with murder and or attempted murder. Eastlick concedes building a solid case in line with the new Texas law allowing for such charges to be laid against those involved in death from fentanyl or other, even stronger contaminates, takes time.

As of Sept. 1, 2023, a new Texas law allows a person to be charged with murder if they supply or distribute fentanyl and it leads to death. Essentially, the new Texas law says those who manufacture or deliver fentanyl or other deadly drugs can be charged with murder in the case of someone who dies, or attempted murder in the case of those who make it through alive. In the case of Austin’s “overdose week”, authorities are quick to point out the victims crossed all societal lines – those with homes, those without; every economic bracket in the county, and a deadly wave that crossed through everything from wealthy neighborhoods to those involving addicts who live on the streets.

It is that concern that drives authorities to try to stem the tide of deadly drugs. But the problem of fentanyl contamination continues to grow, as it’s being used as a cheap additive, or way to “stretch” the product from what people may believe they are buying, and may have purchased and used before – Eastlick notes the victims will never know if the street drug they might wish to use today, tomorrow, or even on a “sometimes” basis will be the fentanyl contaminated product that will kill them. In his words, “…even if they’ve bought from that dealer before, or think the person supplying the drug is a good friend”.

It is for that reason in an exclusive WBAP/KLIF News interview Eastlick pauses and says “we wish everyone would carry Narcan; whether it’s your neighbor or someone else, it can save lives.” He notes overdoses these days can happen anywhere, and that point is driven home by the overdoses of victims – at work “at the office”. It is for that reason Austin officials quickly passed out hundreds of doses of Narcan hoping a bystander or other addicts nearby would use it to try to revive an overdose victim during “overdose week”; they and emergency responders stress Narcan can revive an opiod overdose victim or help them before emergency personnel are able to arrive. With Narcan, they say anyone can save the life of an overdose victim, long before help arrives, which at times can be too late.

One bright light amid the horror – Eastlick notes no evidence of the even more deadly additives “carfentanyl” or “nitazenes” were found in the seized evidence of the investigation. WBAP News has reported carfentanyl and nitazenes are being “test marketed” by cartels in several areas of the country – most in northeast markets, but also in an area of Tennessee and the Tenderloin District of San Fransisco. Carfentanyl is reported to be 100 times the strength of fentanyl; nitzazenes, a class of several drugs more widely known as “the zombie drug” is reported to be 10 thousand times stronger than fentanyl. They are used as is fentanyl – to more cheaply “stretch” a product before it hits the street, to gain more profit, and to more quickly and deeply create addictions. The addictions of these additives are far more powerful than that of fentanyl.

Nitazenes cause rot of the flesh. In many cases, nitazene addicts seeking help for rot that can involve skin, muscle and down to the bone, requiring amputation, walk out of a hospital upon learning surgery and hospitalization will be necessary, because the urge to get more of the drug is too strong to deny. It is unknown the damage they can do internally to humans; but “invisible” rot of lungs and other organs if inhaled or smoked seems likely as well.

In the words of one drug-aware official WBAP News has spoken with, “It’s not like the old days; fentanyl is contaminating everything nowadays and causing all these deaths”. We await the extensive testing for fentanyl now being done on samples of all related drugs, including fentanyl-tainted marijuana seized during investigation of the recent Austin spate of overdoses and deaths. Fentanyl-laced marijuana would open an entire new issue of overdose risk for those who use that drug.

(Copyright, All Rights Reserved, WBAP/KLIF 2024)