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Enough fentanyl found to kill 10,000

A local man and woman have been charged for allegedly possessing fentanyl in a quantity large enough to potentially cause the deaths of 10,000 users.

Jesse “Eric” Self, 18, and Kalene Michelle Hoch, 25, were both were charged with manufacture, delivery or sale of a controlled substance and possession of a firearm during commission of a felony.

“We seized 20 grams of a powder- like substance that tested positive as fentanyl,” said McMinnville Police detective Sgt. Eddie Colwell. “It only takes 2 milligrams of fentanyl to overdose someone and cause their death. That 20 grams is enough to kill approximately 10,000 people, which is the majority of people currently living in the city of McMinnville.”

One gram is the equivalent of 1,000 milligrams. So one gram has the potential to kill 500 users. According to 2020 Census results, the city of McMinnville has a population of 13,788.

A search warrant was issued at their home on Gay Street on Dec. 15. Det. Colwell, along with other city officers and Warren County Sheriff’s Department deputies Jared Jacobs and Brystol Davis, responded. Law enforcement was concluding a drug investigation and specifically hunting for drugs within the residence.

“We’ve been working on a drug investigation for some time with Jesse ‘Eric’ Self as the target,” said Colwell. “Upon execution of the search warrant, we seized the powder-like substance believed to be fentanyl and three guns. We have sent the substance off to confirm our test results.”

Bond was set at $300,000 each. Fentanyl use is surging nationwide, along with overdose deaths associated with the drug. Fentanyl is 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin.