A Laurel County Sheriff’s deputy and his K-9 partner returned to duty Thursday, one day after they were exposed to a quantity of fentanyl, which police described as a highly dangerous drug that can be fatal when inhaled.
Deputy Gilbert Acciardo, the department’s public affairs officer, said K-9 Deputy Daniel Grigsby inhaled the substance when he opened the back of his cruiser to place a suspect inside, reportedly becoming lightheaded and dizzy.
A white, powdery substance was found in the back seat of Girgsby’s cruiser, which had been used earlier Wednesday to transport Dwayne D. Canada, 24, of Radford, Michigan, following his arrest on a charge of trafficking in heroin.
“It was determined through investigation that when Dwayne Canada had been arrested on I-75 that upon being placed in the backseat of the police cruiser, he attempted to dispose of the drugs,” Acciardo stated.
Grigsby and his K-9, “Edge” underwent decontamination at the scene.
Grigsby’s cruiser, which Acciardo said is an SUV specially designed for a K-9 unit, was removed by wrecker and turned over to Eco-Tech to be decontaminated.
Canada faces additional charges of first-degree wanton endangerment of a police officer.
“We were lucky,” Acciardo said of the situation. “You can laugh and joke about a lot of things in law enforcement but that is not a laughing matter. It is very dangerous,” Acciardo said.
Acciardo said Fentanyl is a painkiller that is often mixed with heroin or cocaine in an effort to enhance the high.