Police recover nearly 170 grams of fentanyl

PARKERSBURG — Police officers responding to a reported altercation on Sunday found more than six ounces of suspected fentanyl in a Parkersburg apartment.

“We don’t often see it in this kind of quantity,” Parkersburg Police Chief Joe Martin said. “That’s enough to kill several thousands of people.”

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80 to 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

According to a criminal complaint filed in Wood County Magistrate Court, an officer was speaking to individuals at 705 Hall St., Apt. 1, when he spotted drug paraphernalia including smoking bowls, pipes, straws and digital scales in a bedroom belonging to Ryan Ashley Williams, 34.

The officer secured the room and found 3.03 grams of suspected methamphetamine within Williams’ immediate proximity, the complaint says. A search of Williams turned up approximately 40.5 grams of suspected fentanyl in a clear bag in the waistband of his pants.

As the officer attempted to secure a pair of safes for a search warrant, he lifted a shoebox, which seemed heavier than normal, the complaint says. Inside, the officer found approximately 129 grams of suspected fentanyl.

Williams was arrested on a charge of possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver and is being held in the North Central Regional Jail on a $200,000 surety bond, as well as a parole violation.

Martin said police have been in touch with federal prosecutors about possible charges against Williams, since the federal sentencing guidelines are more stringent. If convicted, Williams could face a minimum of 20 years in prison, Martin said.


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