GONZALES, La. (KPEL News) - A south Louisiana man is facing a long time in jail after police caught him stories his drugs in an unconventional place.

Michael Duplessis, 41, of Gonzales, pleaded guilty to possession with the intent to distribute Schedule I and II drugs on Thursday. He also pleaded guilty to possession or introduction of contraband into a correctional facility. As a result, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

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The Gonzales Police Department arrested Duplessis back in February of 2023 after responding to an emergency call at a convenience store.

The District Attorney in the case said that Duplessis entered the store around 3 a.m. and attempted to buy beer, though he was told the store couldn't sell him the beer after 2 a.m. In response, Duplessis drank the beer in the store and tried to leave. He was eventually detained and arrested.

After being transported to the Ascension Parish Jail, officers found fentanyl and marijuana in the man's shoes, underneath the soles.

Credit: DEA
Credit: DEA

That led to the drug charges, according to the DA's office.


It was not his first drug arrest, however. In April 2022, according to arrest records, he was booked on possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute. He was released from jail, only to be arrested 10 days later.

What Makes Fentanyl So Dangerous?

There have been plenty of warnings in recent years about fentanyl and the fentanyl crisis. The drug is extremely dangerous due to its potency, risk of overdose, and potential for abuse.

Among the key reasons why fentanyl poses such a significant threat are:


High Potency: Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and about 50 times more potent than heroin. Even a tiny amount can produce a powerful effect, making it easy to accidentally overdose.


Overdose Risk: Because of its high potency, the margin for error between a therapeutic dose and a lethal dose is very small. This makes it easy to unintentionally consume a fatal amount, especially when mixed with other substances.


Rapid Onset: Fentanyl acts quickly in the body, leading to a rapid onset of effects. This can quickly overwhelm the body's systems, particularly the respiratory system, leading to respiratory failure and death if not treated immediately.


Illicit Use and Contamination: Fentanyl is often illegally manufactured and sold on the black market. It is sometimes mixed with other drugs, such as heroin, cocaine, or counterfeit pills, without the user's knowledge. This increases the risk of accidental overdose because users are unaware of the presence of fentanyl and its potency.


Difficulty in Detection: Fentanyl is often undetectable to the user because it can be mixed with other substances in minute amounts that do not alter the appearance or taste of the drug. This hidden danger contributes to its high risk.


Physical Dependence and Addiction: Like other opioids, fentanyl is highly addictive. Regular use can lead to physical dependence, and sudden cessation can cause severe withdrawal symptoms, which can drive individuals to continue using the drug despite the dangers.


Limited Response Time: The rapid onset and potency of fentanyl mean that there is often very little time to respond to an overdose. Immediate administration of naloxone (Narcan), an opioid overdose reversal drug, is critical but may require multiple doses to be effective due to fentanyl's strength.

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Due to these factors, fentanyl poses a severe public health risk, contributing significantly to the opioid overdose crisis in many parts of the world. Public awareness, education, and access to treatment and overdose reversal drugs are essential in combating the dangers associated with fentanyl.

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Gallery Credit: Tracy Wirtz

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