Tarrant County DA’s Office Creates Narcotics Unit to Target Fentanyl Dealers

Fentanyl infographic
Fentanyl infographic credit CDC

(Fort Worth) – Tarrant County District Attorney Phil Sorrells created a new unit to focus on cases that involve narcotics – fentanyl, methamphetamine, heroin, cocaine, and more.

Anyone caught making and/or dealing illegal drugs in Tarrant County will face the stiffest sentences and fines possible.

“If you deal fentanyl in Tarrant County, we are coming after you,” Sorrells said. “Fentanyl is addictive and deadly.”

“We are going to get the people who sell this poison off the streets,” he said. “We will do everything we can to keep our community safe.”

Fentanyl is a deadly, synthetic opioid that is cheaper to manufacture than other opioids, which is why some dealers substitute it for other substances. It is available in many forms, including powder, pills, even liquid for nasal sprays or eye droppers. Two milligrams of fentanyl, the equivalent of a few grains of table salt, can be lethal.

In Texas, overdose deaths involving fentanyl rose from 891 in 2020 to 2,189 in 2022, according to data from the Texas Department of State Health Services.

So far in 2023, there have been nearly 2,500 overdoses in Tarrant County, many from fentanyl, Fort Worth police records show. More than 300 people have died from overdoses this year, according to Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s data.

The Tarrant County DA Narcotics Unit is staffed with experienced prosecutors who will diligently pursue drug cases and work closely with law enforcement agencies in Tarrant County. This team includes three prosecutors, all who are experienced in prosecuting narcotic cases.

They also have a new law that will help. House Bill 6 lets prosecutors charge individuals with murder if they make, sell, or deliver fentanyl to a person who dies from exposure to the drug. No such cases have been filed in Tarrant County – yet.

Our office will receive around 8,500 drug cases this year.

“We are tired of the death and destruction caused by illegal drugs,” Sorrells said. “We will hold people accountable.