Man charged with selling drugs near school

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Jenkins sold pressed Fentanyl pills

A man has been arrested and is accused of selling pills that have led to drug overdoses in Ironton and Lawrence County.

On Wednesday, officers from the Ironton Police Department, with assistance from the Lawrence County Drug Task Force said they bought doses of Fentanyl in pressed pill form from Michael Jenkins, 23, of Ironton, within the vicinity of a school.

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After making the controlled buy, IPD officers immediately did a traffic stop on Jenkins and arrested him. He was charged with one count of trafficking in a Fentanyl compound within the vicinity of a school and one count of tampering with evidence. Jenkins was incarcerated in the Lawrence County Jail.

Jenkins has been under investigation by the Ironton Drug Unit for several months for trafficking in Fentanyl and further charges against Jenkins are possible after the case against him is presented to the Lawrence County Grand Jury.

“He’s not our kingpin,” said Ironton Police Detective Captain Brian Pauley. “He’s a middleman, he’s not the biggest fish in the food chain, but he was selling quite a bit, from what we bought off him. We had several controlled purchases off him in a five or six-month period.”

Pauley said that drug dealers are using pill presses to make these Fentanyl pills and that is leading to overdoses because the pills are very strong. Ironton had 70 drug overdoses in 2021 and 16 of those overdoses resulted in deaths. Jenkins has not been charged in connection with any overdoses.

“You have people who think they are getting OxyContin 30s and they are not. Doctors aren’t prescribing Oxy 30s and they aren’t very prevalent anymore,” Pauley said. “This stuff is 10 times stronger. And it just takes a little bit to kill someone. If you are not a Fentanyl user, one pill could kill you the first time you take it. I’m not saying that happens all the time, but that it could. It takes very little to kill a person.”

The Ironton Police Department thanks the citizens of Ironton for their anonymous calls and tips that further their investigations. If you suspect drug activity, the drug tip line is 740-354-5834.