Expert in addiction treatment reacts to big drug bust

Local News

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Those who treat addiction in Western New York were watching as federal prosecutors announced a big drug bust on Tuesday.

U.S. Attorney J.P. Kennedy says prosecutors used 12 search warrants to find more than 7.5 kilograms of cocaine and crack, as well as more than two kilos of fentanyl. That’s enough to wipe out the population of Erie County, Kennedy said. Prosecutors also claim to have found several guns and $750,000.

Four suspects have been charged in connection with the bust: David Washington, 39, Eleazar Martinez Medina, 50, David Burgin, 47, and Rodney Pierce, 32. Pierce is a former basketball star at U.B. He earned first team All-MAC honors in 2009 and 2010.

Jennifer Seib is the Director of Adult Clinic Services at BestSelf Behavioral Health. She was surprised to hear about the quantity of drugs seized in the bust. But there was something that didn’t surprise her.

“I wasn’t surprised to hear that there was a lot of fentanyl and cocaine together,” Seib said. “We’ve been seeing people testing positive for both of those substances quite frequently.”

Seib added people need to be aware of the dangers fentanyl can create.

“I think what’s really scary about the fentanyl is that people are used to it being associated with other opiates like heroin,” she said. “However people who are using cocaine maybe aren’t used to using opiates at all, yet they’re getting an opiate.”

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