‘Major’ drug operation in Rock Hill shows local fentanyl problem

ROCK HILL, S.C. — Federal investigators said they have uncovered a major drug operation with drugs such as fentanyl flying into Rock Hill and Charlotte.

Investigators told Channel 9 that Archie Arsenio Caldwell of Rock Hill has been sentenced to 25 years in federal prison. He was a part of the operation with other suspects, according to investigators. Detectives say those in the operation ordered fentanyl from California used it to make fentanyl-laced pills. The pills were sold in Rock Hill, Greenville, Myrtle Beach, Charlotte and in Atlanta.

However, the fentanyl issue is still ongoing locally.

Buying pills off the street has always been dangerous, but easier access to making the drugs means more supply, according to substance abuse counselors. It’s a particular problem for teens.

Danielle Russell, who helps people overcome addiction with Keystone Substance Abuse Services in York County, says more of those street drugs are laced with deadly fentanyl.

“We’re seeing a lot of the laced pills, specifically we’re seeing a lot of [roxicodone], but really they’re lacing fentanyl in almost any substance such as Xanax and other benzos.” Russell said. “If you’re getting drugs off the street you don’t really know what you’re getting into. We’ve had people walk in addicted to one substance and find out they test positive for fentanyl.”

The York County Coroner’s Office says more people are dying of fentanyl overdoses, with 31 of the 57 overdose deaths this year being related to fentanyl. The youngest death was that of a 17-year-old.

If you or someone you know needs medical care for drug or alcohol use, call our main office at (803) 324-1800 for a confidential screening. We will help you determine the best course of action and connect you with others in the community who can help you recover.

(WATCH BELOW: South Carolina restaurant allegedly used food trucks to traffic drugs)