Recent Orange bust highlights popularity of fentanyl, criminal impact

Published 12:10 am Wednesday, September 27, 2023

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A Sept. 13 drug bust in Orange that pulled in more than 350 grams of fentanyl could be considered the largest, most recent bust in the county, official said.

Besides the 350 grams of fentanyl, investigators reported locating more than 336 grams of cocaine, as well as promethazine and firearms.

Orange Police Sgt. Isaac Henry said this week the amount of fentanyl was significant.

Lawrence Douquette Hardin

Orange Regional Tactical Response Team members executed the search warrant at 205 Schley Avenue, according to Orange Police Lt. Stephen Ward.

The warrant followed a City of Orange narcotics investigation that police say revealed Lawrence Douquette Hardin selling narcotics from his house.

“During the execution of the warrant, Hardin assaulted two tactical team members, however, was able to be placed into custody,” Ward said in a release.

Henry said this week that the two officers are doing well.

The suspect remains in the Orange County Jail on bonds totaling $525,500.

The City of Orange Narcotic Division was assisted by the Drug Enforcement Agency, West Orange Police Department, Bridge City Police Department and Orange County Constable Precinct 2 during the search and arrest.

According the United State Drug Enforcement Administration, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid typically used to treat patients in chronic severe pain or severe pain following surgery.

It is similar to morphine but approximately 100 times more potent.

While it does have a legitimate medical use, there is also illicit fentanyl made in labs and smuggled into the U.S.

“Fentanyl is being mixed in with other illicit drugs to increase the potency of the drug, sold as powders and nasal sprays, and increasingly pressed into pills made to look like legitimate prescription opioids. Because there is no official oversight or quality control, these counterfeit pills often contain lethal doses of fentanyl, with none of the promised drug,” according to the DEA website.

— Written by Mary Meaux