On Thursday, at least 11 New Jersey police officers were exposed to fentanyl while conducting a search of a home. The search resulted in the arrest of five people.
FOX Philadelphia reported that detectives from the Camden County Police Department executed search warrants at a property on Eden Hollow Lane in Sicklerville and an apartment on the 1000 block of Harrison Avenue in Collingswood. Both locations were in Camden County
In the course of searching the residence in Collingswood, eleven officers were put in danger of exposure to fentanyl and required medical attention. HAZMAT teams were dispatched to the location in order to provide assistance.
According to the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office, one of the suspects, identified as Ali Cole, 49, was attempting to destroy evidence while the search was being conducted. In addition to other items, law enforcement discovered one thousand fentanyl bags, forty thousand dollars, a semi-automatic weapon, and a variety of drug paraphernalia.
The eleven officers who were injured during the incident have been discharged from the hospital.
Adam Brackenridge, 33, Donnell Horne, 40, and Stephen Thomas, 35, together with Teronne Perry, 45, were the other four men that were taken into custody. Stephen Thomas was the oldest of the group.
In a statement, the Camden County Prosecutor Grace C. MacAulay expressed gratitude that all of the officers who had been exposed to fentanyl had made a full recovery and were in good health and safety.
“First and foremost, we are very thankful that all of the officers who were exposed to fentanyl have recovered,” she said. “The men and women who serve in law enforcement have a difficult job protecting our communities from the spread of fentanyl and the opioid epidemic, and this is just one of the numerous risks they confront on a daily basis. We owe them a great debt of gratitude for their service. If we work together, we can beat back this disease.”
All five defendants have been charged with third-degree possession of controlled dangerous substances as well as first-degree keeping a controlled dangerous substance (CDS) facility.