Newport Police Department, Newport, RI

Newport Police on Saturday announced that they have arrested a Watertown, Massachusetts man on fentanyl charges.

In October 2023, Newport Police along with Newport Fire personnel responded to an opioid overdose.  Newport Police Officers administered Narcan to the party, which thankfully had a positive effect and they began to recover.  Through a follow-up investigation, it was learned that this victim ingested what they first believed to be cocaine, but it was determined that the cocaine was mixed with fentanyl.  After a thorough investigation, Detectives from the Narcotics Unit learned that this fentanyl-laced cocaine was being supplied to Newport by Jason Sumner of Watertown Massachusetts.  Detectives further learned that on the evening of November 14, 2023, Mr. Sumner would be traveling to Newport to deliver more fentanyl-laced cocaine.  With the assistance of Massachusetts State Troopers assigned to the Middlesex County District Attorney’s Office, Mr. Sumner was surveilled leaving his residence in Watertown and traveling to Newport.  Mr. Sumner was stopped by members of the Newport Detective and Patrol Divisions.  In Mr. Sumner’s vehicle, Detectives located just over a half ounce of a substance which had the visual appearance of cocaine.  This substance field tested positive for both cocaine and fentanyl.  Mr. Sumner was arrested and charged with 2 felony counts of delivery of a controlled substance.  Mr. Sumner was arraigned the following day in Newport County District Court and he was held without bail at the ACI.

Fentanyl mixed with cocaine is particularly dangerous because often the user is unaware this powerful and dangerous opioid is present.  This situation can cause a life-threatening accidental overdose. In recent years, Newport Police have responded to several overdoses, some of them fatal, where it was learned that the victims appeared to have unknowingly ingested fentanyl because it was mixed into cocaine.