3 DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office employees taken to hospital after possible fentanyl exposure

Published: Sep. 18, 2023 at 2:42 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 18, 2023 at 4:00 PM CDT
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DeSOTO PARISH, La. (KSLA) — Three employees with the DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office were taken to the hospital after potentially being exposed to fentanyl.

Officials with the sheriff’s office say on Monday (Sept. 18) around 11:30 a.m., an evidence supervisor was found suffering from a possible exposure to the drug. While helping him, two other employees were also exposed.

All three were taken to a hospital for treatment. Two of the employees have since been released. Meanwhile, the employee who was initially exposed may be kept overnight but is improving.

Sheriff Jayson Richardson and Louisiana State Police Trooper LeAnn Hodges held a brief news conference at the sheriff’s office to update the public on the situation. The sheriff says the employee who was initially exposed administered Narcan to himself after noticing he was having some sort of adverse reaction while processing evidence. He says the Narcan may have saved his life.

“Every deputy has multiple doses of Narcan; we’ve utilized those with calls that we’ve gone to with individuals that were overdosed,” Richardson said. “But we also have it for this purpose, to be able to administer it to ourselves, and so we make it readily available.”

A second dose of Narcan was quickly administered to the employee, and he received several more doses in the ambulance while being taken to the hospital, the sheriff says.

Trooper Hodges says LSP’s hazmat team was called out by the sheriff’s office to secure the building and prevent any possible further exposure.

“The purpose of this entry is to identify and collect information on the unknown substance. That way, that information can be coordinated back to the local hospitals where these deputies are housed at, and to assist in the treatment of those deputies.”

Sheriff Richardson confirms no prisoners were exposed, and nobody outside the immediate area of the evidence room was affected. The building was cleared out of an abundance of caution.

A hazmat team with Louisiana State Police was called out to the DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office...
A hazmat team with Louisiana State Police was called out to the DeSoto Parish Sheriff's Office after three employees were potentially exposed to fentanyl.(KSLA)

“As volatile as these drugs are, you just never know when that little bit of exposure could affect you in that way,” the sheriff said.

LSP confirms there is no cause for concern for any area outside of the sheriff’s office, and no evacuations were ordered.

The hazmat team on-site may be able to positively identify the substance the employees were exposed to, but they may have to send it to a lab for identification.