June 29, 2018 – Lab tests on flyers that were placed on vehicles belonging to Harris County Sheriff’s Office employees on Tuesday have yielded no evidence of Fentanyl, a dangerous synthetic opioid, according to The Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences (HCIFS).
Final results of all testing were provided to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office on Friday morning. In addition to testing the 13 flyers, the HCIFS also tested clothing items, and blood and urine samples collected from a Sheriff’s Office sergeant who reported symptoms consistent with Fentanyl exposure. Those tests also were negative for the drug.
The flyers were found on HCSO employee vehicles parked in the 600 block of Lockwood on the afternoon of Tuesday, June 26. A sergeant removed a flyer from her windshield and placed it inside her vehicle as she drove away. After driving a few miles, the sergeant began experiencing symptoms that included a tingling sensation, dizziness, impaired vision, and a headache. The sergeant then stopped her vehicle, notified the Sheriff’s Office, and requested medical assistance. She was examined at a hospital and released later on Tuesday.
Suspecting that the flyers might have been contaminated, Sheriff’s Office personnel conducted a field test on a flyer left on another vehicle. The results of that test indicated the presence of Fentanyl. All flyers were then removed from vehicles and collected into evidence for further testing in a controlled, laboratory environment. This is standard procedure, because while narcotics field tests are a valuable tool for law enforcement, controlled laboratory testing conducted by trained, expert analysts is the most reliable form of analysis.
Out of an abundance of caution, the Sheriff’s Office immediately advised the public and other law enforcement agencies on Tuesday to avoid exposure to any flyers that may be left on vehicles.
Now that the Harris County Institute of Forensic Sciences has completed all testing, the Sheriff’s Office is following up with the public and other law enforcement agencies with the results. The Sheriff’s Office is also working to verify that deputies have access to the most reliable field testing kits available.
At this time, the Sheriff’s Office has not questioned any persons of interest in the case, and no criminal charges have been filed.