• Lake County deputy, firefighter exposed to narcotic during traffic stop, officials say

    By: Myrt Price , James Tutten

    Updated:

    LAKE COUNTY, Fla. - A deputy had to be revived with Narcan after a traffic stop Tuesday night turned into a hazmat situation.

    Investigators said fentanyl is to blame for the incident near County Road 561 and Florida Boys Ranch Road.

    Two women who are accused of being inside that vehicle with the drugs faced a judge Wednesday.


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    A third suspect, who was also affected by the fentanyl, didn't make a first appearance.

    Officials said deputies who responded followed protocol, which includes looking, listening and even using their sense of smell during the traffic stop.

    WFTV reporter Myrt Price asked Lake County deputies about that incident and if they are planning to make any changes to keep it from happening again.

    "He smelled marijuana in the vehicle. He removed one of the occupants from the vehicle and that's when he was exposed to the substance that is believed to be fentanyl," said Fred Jones with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

    Jones said although a deputy handled the clear plastic baggy that contained the fentanyl powder, "We're pretty sure it was something that was airborne and not something that he touched."

    One of the deputies passed out, and minutes later, one of the suspects, Brennan Dowling, had to be administered a dose of Narcan as well.

    Shortly after that, a firefighter was also exposed.

    Florida Boys Ranch Road was completely shut down just west of the County Road 561 intersection as deputies worked to collect the substance and clear the scene.

    "We listen for things, and there are certain smells that we smell, so it’s one of those things that's a slippery slope,” Jones said. “We can take a look at [not using smell], but honestly, you're taking away one of the senses that you use to make decisions, as well."

    Officials say the deputy, firefighter and suspect are all doing fine.

    So far the suspects have not been charged with causing the hazmat situation.

     

     

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