Warrant: Murder charges possible in deadly fentanyl overdoses

Published: Nov. 8, 2016 at 9:59 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 9, 2016 at 9:51 AM CST
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LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - After three fentanyl drug raids in less than two weeks, new details have been revealed in the ongoing investigation of the drug sweeping the South Plains.

According to a search warrant for the third raid, investigators have probable cause to believe that the distribution of this substance resulted in approximately six deadly overdoses within the last three months. According to a police source, murder and attempted murder charges could be brought against those arrested in these raids if investigators can establish the connection between the Lubbock overdoses and the fentanyl sold.

Fentanyl is a painkiller 50 times more powerful than heroin. Experts say there has been a crushing wave of overdose deaths nationwide caused by fentanyl mixed with heroin. Drug dealers are now cutting heroin with fentanyl, and in some cases, using pure fentanyl to pass off as heroin. If a user gets a dose that is super potent or not what they're expecting, that one dose could be fatal.

The first two drug raids happened simultaneously in the early morning hours on Oct. 27, 2016. Jessica Christine Holl, 28, and Jamie Marie Robertson, 32, were arrested at their apartment on 4th Street. Sidney Caleb Lanier, 36, and Heather Marie Lanier, 38, were arrested at their home on 154th Street. They were all charged with criminal conspiracy.

If convicted, they each face a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Each are being held on a $500,000 bond.

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The latest drug raid ended with a suspected drug dealer being shot twice by a SWAT officer on November 4, 2016. The raid happened in the 2200 block of 2nd Place. Police say all three raids are connected.

According to police, 26-year-old Peyton Wilson had a pistol in his possession at the time of the search warrant. The search warrant was issued for an undercover investigation that began in September when a confidential informant purchased what is thought to be fentanyl from Wilson.

On October 10, police received information that Wilson was selling fentanyl and had stolen the drug from another dealer. The informant told police he believed the fentanyl Wilson was selling was connected to the overdose death of at least one person.

On October 17, police arrested a man for an outstanding warrant. The man was in possession of fentanyl. He told police he, at one time, sold the drug for Jessica Holl and Jamie Robertson until they got into a disagreement. The man told police he began buying his fentanyl from Wilson, but Wilson's product was "extremely potent and dangerous." The man told police he knew of a second person who overdosed and died as a result of the drug Wilson was selling.

All of this information led to the search warrant that was enforced on Friday.

During the search warrant on Friday, police say SWAT entered the home, knowing there could be surveillance cameras on the property. They also believed the people inside the home were possibly armed. One SWAT officer saw Wilson with the pistol and fired two shots. Both bullets struck Wilson. He was treated at the scene and then taken to University Medical Center with serious injuries. No LPD officers were injured.

The SWAT officer who fired the two shots is on paid administrative leave, which is protocol for this type of situation. The matter may be reviewed by a Lubbock County Grand Jury.

After the search warrant was enforced, investigators found what is believed to be fentanyl in the house. Wilson has been charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to deliver. His bond has been set at $250,000.

Another person who was in the house at the time of the search warrant execution was questioned by police. Other arrests are expected in this case.

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