Police find 30 grams of fentanyl during arrest

A traffic stop in Vernon Township ended in the arrest of a 31-year-old Scott County woman early Thursday morning after 30 grams of fentanyl and methamphetamine were found in her vehicle, police said.

Erica M. Bannister of Scottsburg faces a preliminary Level 2 felony charge of dealing in narcotics and a preliminary Level 6 felony charge of possession of methamphetamine.

Bannister’s arrest occurred after Jackson County Sheriff’s Department Officer Jordan Hawn stopped a white Chevrolet S10 after the driver disregarded a stop sign at U.S. 31 and State Road 250 in Uniontown at about 1:42 a.m. Thursday, according to a news release from Lt. Adam Nicholson.

Hawn asked for K-9 Officer Sgt. Ben Rudolph to come to his location with his K-9, Nyx, which performed a free air sniff of the vehicle and alerted to presence of narcotics, Nicholson said.

The vehicle was then searched and the fentanyl, which had an approximate street value of $4,500, and methamphetamine were found, police said.

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine and 50 times stronger than heroin, Nicholson said.

It is commonly added to heroin to increase its potency, which often results in overdose deaths. The amount of fentanyl recovered in this case was enough to kill as many as 15,000 people, Nicholson said.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, 2 milligrams is a lethal dose in most people.

Bannister was booked into the Jackson County Jail in Brownstown at 3 a.m. Thursday and was being held without bond pending her initial hearing.

Upon conviction, a Level 2 felony carries a 10- to 30-year potential prison sentence with an advisory sentence of 17½ years.