Police officer overdoses after accidental contact with fentanyl on traffic stop

Patrolman Chris Green of the East Liverpool Police Department responded to a traffic stop Friday evening after officers blocked in a vehicle they believed was involved in a drug transaction, according to CBS affiliate WKBN-TV in Youngstown.


“We think they were trying to flee, but they were blocked in,” East Liverpool Capt. Patrick Wright told the station. “Once they got blocked in, they tried to dispose of the evidence in the vehicle.” 

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“There was white powder on the seat, on the floor, on the guys’ shoes and on his clothing.”

Police arrested both the driver and passenger in the vehicle, identified as 25-year-old Justin Buckle, of East Liverpool, and 24-year-old Cortez Collins, of Cleveland, and searched the vehicle.

WKBN-TV reports that after Green conducted the search and returned to the police station, a fellow officer noticed Green had white power on his shirt. 

“Just out of instinct, he tried to brush is off — not thinking,” Wright said.

An hour later, Green passed out in the police station, suffering from a suspected overdose from the white power, which police believe was fentanyl. Police said fentanyl can enter the body simply through contact with the skin. 

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“They called an ambulance for [Green] and the ambulance responded for him,” Wright said. “They gave him one dose of Narcan here and then transported him to East Liverpool City Hospital, where they gave him three additional doses of Narcan.”

Wright told the station Green was "fine" as of Sunday. 

Wright added that the incident is an example of how the drug epidemic has forced officers to change aspects of their jobs.

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“We changed our procedures to where we used to field test-drugs,” Wright said. “We don’t do that any longer because of accidental exposures.”

The suspects, Buckle and Collins, have been charged with tampering with evidence. 

East Liverpool is located on the Ohio-Pennsylvania border and is about 40 miles south of Youngstown.

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