DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — Dothan Fire Medic, Jesse Taylor, was arrested and charged on Tuesday with stealing 42 vials of fentanyl from the Dothan Fire Department.
Fentanyl is a controlled substance that is 50 to 100 times stronger than the drug morphine. The fire department uses it during certain emergencies to help those in pain.
“All of our medications are controlled substances,” Dothan Deputy Fire Chief, Chris Etheredge said. “So it is used daily in the treatment of the citizens and visitors of Dothan for their medical emergencies.”
The department discovered the narcotics were missing from one of its storage facilities after a routine inventory check.
Once an investigation by the Dothan Police Department got underway, they discovered a fellow first responder was responsible for the missing drugs.
In an interview before the discovery that Jesse Taylor was the man behind the stolen goods, Etheredge said a situation like this has never happened before.
“This is a first time for us,” Etheredge said. “So we felt like all of our procedures were good and solid procedures, but this is an opportunity to tighten that up and make sure we do better in the future.”
Police say the nature of Taylor’s position in the fire department enabled him to access the storage location and remove the medication without suspicion.
Taylor is charged with trafficking in fentanyl and second-degree theft of property. After he was originally booked into the Dothan City Jail he was then transferred to the Houston County Jail.
He was released Tuesday night on a combined bond of $30,000.