Officials with the New York State Correctional Officers Police Benevolent Association (NYSCOPBA) say a sergeant was exposed to dangerous and potent drugs while investigating a suspicious letter sent to an inmate.

Officials say a detail was reviewing incoming mail when the sergeant noticed one of the letters had three pages soaked in liquid. When the sergeant pulled the pages from the envelope he immediately became lightheaded, according to officials. Without hesitation medical assistance was called into the room and a nurse administered a dose of Narcan. The sergeant started to feel better after the dose was given, but was transported to a local hospital for further treatment.

Following the exposure, the Utica Fire Department Hazmat Team was called in to clean the mail room where the incident took place. Officials say a test of the pages the sergeant was exposed to confirmed traces of both Heroin and Fentanyl.

Bryan Hluska is the Central Region Vice President of NYSCOPBA and he was frustrated in his announcement of the incident. Hluska says,

We have been calling on DOCCS to reinstall the Secure Vendor Program for over two years now and not one step has been taken by the administration as drugs continue to flow into prisons despite the best efforts of staff. While this incident might not have been avoided, having a Secure Vendor Program would eliminate a large portion of drugs sent in by inmate packages. These were two deadly drugs the sergeant was exposed to and we need to start holding those individuals attempting to send in the drugs through mail accountable and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.

Hluska says following the sergeant's exposure State Police were called to the facility to collect evidence and begin an investigation into the origin of the letter. The laced letter was sent from an address in the Bronx, according to investigators.

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