Undercover Lafayette police officer contaminated with fentanyl during exchange with panhandler

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LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY) — Lafayette Police Chief Thomas Glover said an investigation by the LPD narcotics agents found people posing as homeless panhandlers with some offering to sell drugs.

He said officers found most of the vagrants setting up shop in major traffic areas.

“We identified some from the New Orleans and Lake Charles area,” Glover said. “We don’t have a lot of information currently about where they reside, but we have good names on them.  We have warrants on all of them supported by affidavits.”

The investigation yielded 33 cases with 26 different suspects either panhandling or pretending to be in need.

Glover said during the investigation, one of the narcotics agents was contaminated by what was believed to be fentanyl.

“The officer was making a purchase as part of his duties, and a strong gust of wind came and blew some of the fentanyl into his face,” Glover said.

Glover reported that about 25% of the overall crime in Lafayette is connected to the use or distribution of drugs. He’s urging people to not give money to panhandlers on the side of the road. He said your act of kindness could be going toward financing a drug cartel.

“It’s appalling that people would take advantage of the kindness of the citizens here and pro port to be homeless and indigent people in need and then utilizing the opportunity to sell drugs,” Glover said. 

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