Bag of suspected fentanyl in man's pants prompts hazmat response in Methuen

Bag of suspected fentanyl in man's pants prompts hazmat response in Methuen

METHUEN, Mass. — It was a tense few moments inside the Methuen Police Department on Wednesday night.

As officers were searching a suspect, they reportedly found the deadly drug fentanyl, taped to his genital area.

While being booked for previous warrants, police say a needle fell from 28-year-old Kyle Dennis' pants. Officers searched him and say Dennis grabbed a bag that had been taped between his legs and ripped it open.

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"While he ripped it open, the powder got all over the cell area and got onto the officer," said Methuen Police Capt. Gregory Gallant.

"The officer was completely covered with a white powder. During the pat frisk, he was conducting the frisk, and the subject ripped open the bag, and it dispersed," Gallant said. The officer was identified in a news release as Patrick Waldron.

The bag popped open and the cell was filled with the powder, putting the suspect and the two officers in immediate danger, he said.

"It’s something we are concerned about. As far as exposure to fentanyl and carfentanyl. Fentanyl is 50 times more toxic than heroin," Gallant said.

Waldron and the suspect were rushed to the hospital, leaving the holding cell area a hazmat scene. The officer is OK.

"We had to shut down the cell area," Gallant said.

Police say Dennis was wanted on three warrants in Mass. courts for receiving a stolen motor vehicle and giving a false name to police, possession of a Class A substance, possessing a firearm without FID, improper storage, and possessing ammunition without an FID card.

In addition to the Mass. warrants, police say Dennis is also a wanted fugitive out of New Hampshire.

He is now being charged with possession of a Class A substance (fentanyl), hindering a police investigation, giving a false name to police, defacement of property, and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon (fentanyl).

Dennis is expected to be arraigned Thursday.