HPD, NADTF discuss 2022 drug overdoses, recent arrests

HPD, NADTF discusses 2022 drug overdoses, recent arrests
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 8:51 PM CDT
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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - On Wednesday the Huntsville Police Department and the North Alabama Drug Task Force held a discussion on drug overdoses and recent arrests in the area.

“We want to remind the community that the opioid epidemic is still thriving, and we are out on the front lines fighting,” NADTF Sergeant Joe Kennington said. “Our NADTF Agents are working to stop those who prey on those battling addiction.”

In the month of July, HPD seized significant amounts of fentanyl and other narcotics in the Huntsville area.

HPD discusses 2022 drug overdoses, recent arrests
HPD discusses 2022 drug overdoses, recent arrests(HPD)

According to officials, NADTF Agents seized 11.2 pounds of fentanyl, 31 pounds of methamphetamine, 7,000 pressed fentanyl pills, 2.4 pounds of cocaine, 200 MDMA tablets, 19 pounds of marijuana, 19 firearms and $72,740 in drug proceeds.

Juan Orlando Matthews, 32, Lawrence O’Neal Beasley, 35 and Willie Earl Grace Jr., 34 were arrested by the NADTF for drug trafficking in relation to the investigations.

(left to right) Juan Orlando Matthews, 32, Lawrence O’Neal Beasley, 35 and Willie Earl Grace...
(left to right) Juan Orlando Matthews, 32, Lawrence O’Neal Beasley, 35 and Willie Earl Grace Jr., 34(HPD)

“Drugs like fentanyl are destroying the lives of people in our community every day,” HPD’s Deputy Chief DeWayne McCarver said. “I am so thankful for the hard work and dedication of our NADTF Agents to get these dangerous drugs off the street.”

Madison County Coroner Dr. Tyler Berryhill says that three milligrams of pure fentanyl is potent enough to kill an adult. In perspective it would be three grains of sugar.

According to HPD, since January 2022, first responders in Huntsville and Madison County have responded to 543 overdoes, 40 of which resulted in deaths and 143 occurred during July. About one-third of those overdoses are confirmed to be fentanyl-related.

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