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ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. — While a scourge of fentanyl-related deaths in Colorado continues, investigators say they remain diligent in trying to take the powerful, synthetic opioid out of the community.

The North Metro Task Force (NMTF) is a multi-jurisdictional force within Adams County, investigating illicit drug operations in the area.

In an interview with Denver7, Adams County Sheriff Rick Reigenborn explained how the NMTF tracks and arrests drugs dealers.

“People may say …my son or daughter is getting that [drug] from this one person but that one person is getting it from somebody else,” he said. “So we’re trying to cut off that supply chain, not just there, but further up as well.”

The sheriff said while he believes the solution to the fentanyl crisis is multi-factored, detective work is a big piece to overcoming the problem.

“We’re actually doing the hand-to-hand deal so that we don’t have an informant or somebody’s child placed in danger,” he said. “We’re trying to take our undercover officers and get them in a place to where they can actually do the hand-to-hand deal …so when we take that case to the DA, we can say, I personally did the drug deal between him and them.”

Investigators with the NMTF told Denver7 that in 2020, their agents seized minimal amounts of fentanyl but come 2021, there was a huge increase.

Last July, a drug bust by NMTF led to the seizure of a little more than 40,000 fentanyl pills.

This year, Reigenborn expects they’ll find even more.

“Just last week patrol deputies in Adams County located over 20,000 pills of fentanyl,” he said.

The drug’s uptick in the community has led to close calls, the sheriff said.

“Just this last year, one of our deputies opened up a package that had fentanyl in it and he had to start administering Narcan to himself,” he said.

Reigenborn said NMTF’s work to combat the fentanyl surge in the state always happens diligently even though, at times, it may seem unbeknownst to the community.

“We’re not playing checkers, this game isn’t going to be over in five minutes, we’re now playing chess,” he said. “We’re trying to figure out what the next move is going to be in this chess game of the narcotic world.”

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