I'm no expert so I can only speculate as to whether drug arrests and weapon use arrests seem to be continuously on the rise in Western Massachusetts. Is it due to the COVID-19 pandemic? I don't know. As I said, I'm no expert.

It seems that lately drug and weapon-related crimes are up in the west end of the state whether it's in Hampden, Franklin, Hampshire, or Berkshire County. But you know what? Maybe those crime numbers are up everywhere.

The drug fentanyl seems to be all over the news lately. Fentanyl is a drug used to treat severe pain and it can be extremely addictive. A lot of chronic pain sufferers take fentanyl because it can be 100 times stronger than morphine.

There's definitely a market out there for fentanyl and where there's a demand, there's criminal activity. Police in Orange, Massachusetts on Wednesday arrested a man after a search conducted on his home resulted in over 700 bags of fentanyl being found.

According to a Facebook posting from the Orange Police Department:

After a lengthy investigation into the sales of illegal narcotics, stemming from complaints of concerned citizens and proactive police work, the Northwestern Anti-Crime Task Force, along with assistance from the Orange Police Department, executed a search warrant on February 9, 2022 at a residence in the town of Orange.

Also uncovered during their search of the suspect's home were amounts of suspected cocaine, suspected ecstasy, some prescription pills, and over $1,500 in cash. As a result, one suspect was arrested on numerous charges including trafficking, possession, and intent to distribute.

The investigation is ongoing. For more on the story, please visit the Orange Police Department's Facebook page here.

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