Police in Baltimore City have recovered a “substantial amount” of fentanyl from an early Tuesday morning raid at a corner store on the war-torn streets of West Baltimore.
Police report two unidentified people were taken into custody at the time of the raid with pending charges. Police served a search and seizure warrant at the store after a concerned resident in the neighborhood tipped off police.
In fact, at the time of the raid, police had to call in various hazmat crews, because so much fentanyl and opioids were found. One reporter on the scene snapped incredible photos of “guys in hazmat suits” holding “some sort of detectors in hand.”
Unsure what exactly is going on. Guys in hazmat suits just came out of the store with some sort of detector in hand and are now being helped out of their suits. Police huddling near entrance. pic.twitter.com/Ssye1b4XZ2— Kevin Rector (@RectorSun) December 5, 2017
A special operations vehicle called ‘HAZ1MAT’ was called to the scene to assist investigators.
More hazmat apparatus/officials arriving even as others seem to be packing up. pic.twitter.com/0KfWJ0WsKa— Kevin Rector (@RectorSun) December 5, 2017
Firefighters were seen hosing down hazmat crews as they exited the corner store.
Hazmat guy just came out and go hoses down on the street. pic.twitter.com/MHezuHwXlB— Kevin Rector (@RectorSun) December 5, 2017
Baltimore police spokesman Jarron Jackson said investigators believe a large-scale drug operation was working out of the store and distributed fentanyl across the entire city. So far, police have not disclosed how much of the synthetic opioid was confiscated, but police call it a ‘substantial amount.’
As the investigation entered into the evening hours, the reporter on the scene described police carrying out “five very large bags, plus smaller boxes, etc. Seems like a substantial haul.”
Police unit just came out with five very large bags, plus smaller boxes, etc. Seems like a substantial haul. pic.twitter.com/3MILfYXnDQ— Kevin Rector (@RectorSun) December 5, 2017
Jackson said the raid is a major win for the city, which is experiencing a fentanyl crisis. According to Maryland Department of Health, there were 799 fentanyl overdose deaths in the state between January and July with a high percentage occurring in Baltimore City. (below chart 2007 to 2016)
“What you see today is the community and police working together to combat that crisis,” Jackson said. “A person in the community saw something that concerned them, and they reported it.”
The Rev. Keith Baily, president of the Fulton Heights Community Association, said he believes some Baltimore corner stores are operating illegally and could be tied into the drug trade.
“Someone else, they were telling me that this fentanyl is being made in these corner stores, and we are fighting about this on the North Avenue area where I’m at, and it’s killing people,” Bailey said.
In addition to the opioid epidemic in Baltimore, the murder crisis (See: “Deadliest Year Ever” – Baltimore Eclipses 2016 Homicide Total) is not helping the situation whatsoever, as the city spirals out of control– it’s only a matter of time before neighborhoods are locked down (see: Entire Baltimore Neighborhood Under Lockdown: “Police Declared Martial Law”).