Maricopa police arrested two men on multiple drug charges last week after allegedly discovering almost a pound of methamphetamine and syringes which also contained traces of the powerful synthetic opioid, fentanyl.
Steven Billington, 42, and Steve Hamby, 30, were taken into custody around 1:30 a.m. Jan. 19, after MPD allegedly found multiple plastic baggies containing around 28 grams of meth along with a scale, aluminum foil and two hypodermic needles.
The drugs were tested using a laser drug testing kit called Trunarc, which confirmed the substance to be meth, the report says. The Trunarc device was also used to test one of the syringes that contained a brown liquid that tested positive for both meth and fentanyl.
Fentanyl and other more powerful synthetic painkillers have been linked to many of the overdose deaths associated with the opioid epidemic. Typically mixed with heroin, the drug is also being mixed with other drugs like stimulants such as meth and cocaine.
Since the recent uptick in opioid and opiate use, the Trunarc device has proven to be a valuable tool to law enforcement and public health officials when determining if powerful synthetic analgesic like fentanyl, carfentanil and their variants have entered a community.
The two men were initially stopped by MPD for allegedly driving a car displaying license plates which were suspended. The driver – Billington – was cited for also not having a valid driver’s license. During a “tow inventory,” the drugs and paraphernalia were found, the report says.
Billington was charged with transporting meth for sale and possession of drug paraphernalia, which combined carry a presumptive punishment of six years in prison.
Hamby was charged with possession of a dangerous drug, possession of a dangerous drug with intent to sale and possession of drug paraphernalia, which combined carry a presumptive punishment of eight and a half years in prison.
Both Billington and Hamby were booked into Pinal County Jail.