The pandemic is restricting the illegal drug pipeline. Here’s why it’s not all good news

FOX Files

ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis office of the DEA says the pandemic has disrupted the pipeline of drugs from Mexico to the Midwest. That may sound like good news but it’s turning out to have increasingly deadly consequences.

The DEA has warned that we’re seeing more overdoses because that meth, heroin, or cocaine an addict thinks they’re buying is something else.

“Because of the supply chain disruption where meth might not be as available, may not be as cheap, may not be a potent, dealers—unbeknownst to the user—are putting fentanyl in those drugs,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge William J. Callahan III.

Callahan said fentanyl is less impacted by the supply chain disruption because it’s so potent.

“It just takes a very small amount of fentanyl to make an impact, while you need more product of heroin or meth or cocaine to make that impact,” Callahan said.

He points to Sunday’s incident on Hyannis Drive in St. Charles where two men overdosed on what they thought to be cocaine. The substance turned out to be fentanyl. As Fox 2 reported, one of the victims was a Bellefontaine Neighbors police officer. The municipality reported to us today that he is no longer working for their department because of the alleged inappropriate activity.

A drug dealing suspect, Ledra Craig, was arrested after a joint investigation by St. Charles police, St. Charles County police, and the DEA.

Craig was already on probation after being sentenced to ten years in prison for drug distribution and forgery.

According to a federal affidavit by a DEA task force officer, investigators located the suspect with the help of AmeriStar casino surveillance video which “corroborated the victim’s account of the meeting in the parking lot” to make the drug deal.

The affidavit said “Craig admitted selling fentanyl” and “the substance was actually ‘fake.’”

While DEA continues cracking down, it also wants to connect users with recovery.

“They’re suffering from sort of a brain injury. Their brain is telling them they need this drug to survive,” Callahan said. “What we’re encouraging those people and showing compassion – get treatment, get help.”

The DEA recently set up a web page of resources at WithYouSTL.com.

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