The Tarrant County District Attorney’s office unveiled a narcotics unit Nov. 20 to fight fentanyl distribution and other drug cases.

A news release from Tarrant County District Attorney Phil Sorrells states anyone caught making and/or dealing illegal drugs in Tarrant County “will face the stiffest sentences and fines possible.”

“If you deal fentanyl in Tarrant County, we are coming after you,” Sorrells said in a statement. “Fentanyl is addictive and deadly.”

Dig deeper

In a Nov. 20 YouTube video that accompanied the release, Sorrells cited a new law passed this year from the legislative session that will help the cause of the new unit. House Bill 6 allows prosecutors to file a murder charge for anyone involved in making, selling or delivering fentanyl to a person who dies from exposure to the drug.
  • Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid comparable to pain relievers, such as oxycodone and hydrocodone, is 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin, according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
  • As of Nov. 20, there have been nearly 2,500 drug overdoses in Tarrant County, mainly from fentanyl, Fort Worth Police records show. More than 300 people have died from overdoses this year, according to Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s data.
The details

The district attorney’s Narcotics Unit is staffed with experienced prosecutors who will “diligently pursue drug cases and work closely with law enforcement agencies in Tarrant County,” the news release states. The team is composed of three prosecutors, all of whom are experienced with narcotic cases.

The district attorney’s office is expected to receive around 8,500 drug cases this year, the release stated.

“We are going to get the people who sell this poison off the streets,” Sorrells said. “Fentanyl is addictive and deadly.”