Quay deputy accidentally exposed to fentanyl


January 5, 2022

A Quay County sheriff’s deputy collapsed and briefly was hospitalized last week after an accidental exposure to fentanyl during a home visit of probation subjects.

According to a Facebook post by the sheriff’s department, deputies on Dec. 27 assisted the Adult Probation and Parole Office in conducting a random home visit in the 600 block of East McGee Avenue in Tucumcari.

The visit found items “consistent with the use or consumption of fentanyl” at the residence, and officers secured a search warrant to conduct a more thorough search.

Deputies found several more items fentanyl and methamphetamine paraphernalia and several pills of fentanyl in one of the rooms.

“While collecting the suspected fentanyl, and wearing proper PPE, a QCSO Deputy was exposed and collapsed as a result of the exposure,” the department stated. “Narcan was deployed on the QCSO Deputy by on scene Deputies, and immediately transported to Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital for treatment and evaluation.”

Narcan is a nasal spray used to treat overdoses of narcotics. It often is issued to law enforcement officers and emergency medical technicians for use in emergencies.

Simply touching or breathing in traces of fentanyl, a powerful painkiller, can lead to accidental overdoses.

A sheriff’s department incident report written by the overcome deputy stated “I began to have trouble breathing” and “I then became dizzy and felt weak” while searching a suspect’s bag for suspected fentanyl before the officer collapsed.

The deputy was not identified in the report.

The sheriff’s office thanked Tucumcari EMS “for their timely response” and Tucumcari Police for assistance in transporting the deputy to the hospital.

“We are thankful our deputy has recovered and is back to active duty,” the post stated.

According to online court documents, arrested were Samitra D. Hurd, 29, and Aaron Keith Martinez, 21, both of Tucumcari. Both were charged with possession of a controlled substance, with Hurd’s being a felony count.

Hurd and Martinez two days later also were arrested on warrants for three felony counts of intentional child abuse (no death or great bodily harm) after being accused of endangering children with fentanyl paraphernalia “scattered throughout the residence,” according to an affidavit.

Hurd and Martinez’s first court appearances on those counts was scheduled for the afternoon of Jan. 3. Both still were detained at the county jail as of Monday morning.


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