Jefferson County search uncovers deadly drug killing thousands

Cliffard Cole and Amber Haydon

The opioid epidemic sweeping the nation has claimed thousands of lives across the country, and peddlers of poisonous prescription pills and deadly drugs such as fentanyl continue to invade once safe communities, reaching tainted tentacles into suburban neighborhoods and small-town schools, spreading dependency and disease.

The drug dealers distribute the toxic narcotics through varying means, even attempting to use the U.S. postal service and private parcel shipping services to do their dirty work, delivering the malignant meds right up to buyers’ doorsteps – and right here in Jefferson County.

Deputies with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) Narcotics Task Force are investigating just such a delivery made to the UPS office at 3755 Washington Blvd. in Beaumont on Jan. 29, reports Capt. Crystal Holmes. According to Holmes, the Narcotics Task Force received information that a package of fentanyl had been shipped to the location, and the team set up surveillance at the store. JCSO investigators were there waiting when 54-year-old Cliffard Cole (also known as Clifford Cole) of Silsbee attempted to pick up the suspicious package and immediately arrested him.

But Cole was not alone, and fentanyl was not the only dangerous substance the investigators discovered during their search. Holmes reports that Cole's stepdaughter, 37-year-old Amber Haydon of Silsbee, was waiting for him in a pickup truck outside the business. Deputies detained Haydon inside the vehicle and reported smelling a strong odor of marijuana in the truck. On the console of the truck, in plain view, the officers also found a clear baggie of methamphetamine, and a further search yielded a small bottle of Winstrol, an anabolic steroid, according to Holmes.

A peek inside the delivered package provided deputies with even more evidence, JCSO reports, much more. After securing a search warrant and opening the parcel, deputies discovered 80 packages, each including 100 mcg of fentanyl, the street value of which police estimate as between $8,000 and $10,000.

Both Cole and Hayden were arrested and charged with possession of a controlled substance before being booked into the Jefferson County Jail.

The investigation continues. For more information about fentanyl visit https://americanaddictioncenters.org/fentanyl-treatment/dangers-of-abuse/.

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