Savannah drug bust nets ‘large amount of fentanyl,’ 3 arrests

Crime & Safety

From left to right: Berlin Thornton, Dale Bowers, Wendy Helmey (via CNT)

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Three suspects have been arrested in connection with an investigation into fentanyl-laced heroin by the Chatham-Savannah Counter Narcotics Team (CNT).

According to CNT, agents began the investigation in early August after receiving information that laced heroin was being sold from a home in the 4500 block of Ogeechee Road.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that’s 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Non-pharmaceutical fentanyl is often mixed with heroin, cocaine or counterfeit pills without the user’s knowledge, the CDC reports.

Undercover agents from CNT began making purchases from the residence and were able to identify the suspects involved. On Friday, the CNT Clandestine Response team, along with the Savannah Police Department’s SWAT team, executed a search warrant at the home on Ogeechee Road.

Items seized in Ogeechee Road investigation (CNT)

Agents arrested 43-year-old Dale Bowers, 40-year-old Wendy Helmey, 41-year-old Berlin Thornton, all of Savannah. They also found various forms of controlled substances, including “a large amount of fentanyl,” crystal methamphetamine, ecstasy, cocaine, and other substances unidentified at this time.

Also seized was more than $800 and six firearms, four of which were stolen.

Bowers now faces multiple felony charges, including Trafficking Fentanyl, Trafficking Methamphetamine, and Possession of a Firearm during the Commission of a Felony. Helmey and Thornton were both charged with multiple drug-related charges, including Possession of a Controlled Substance (Crack Cocaine).

All three remain in the Chatham County Detention Center, and according to CNT, additional charges and arrests are expected.

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