Rowan deputy exposed to heroin while investigating overdose

Deputy Joe Cline

ROWAN COUNTY, Ky. - Rowan County Sheriff Matt Sparks says they've had around seven drug overdoses within five days in the county.

"We're doing everything we can to stop it," Sparks said. "This one particular lady in the last week overdosed twice within a 24-hour period. 9, 10 o'clock one day, and the afternoon the next day, she overdosed the second time."

Two of the overdoses resulted in death, and one led to a scary situation for a Rowan County deputy.

On Wednesday, Chief Deputy Joe Cline, along with several other deputies and the sheriff went to a mobile home on McBrayer Road. Deputy Cline says they had a warrant to search the home. When deputies got inside, they say they found 40-year-old Shelley White with a bag of heroin. When White spotted the deputies, Cline says she tried to hide the heroin, but it ended up spilling out of the bag.

Deputy Cline was able to arrest White, but in the process, he says he may have been exposed to the drug. After they had secured the scene, Deputy Cline began to feel sick.

"I'm going to say lightheaded, a little bit dizzy. I had to lean up against the railing of the porch on the outside of the residence for a few minutes."

The deputy called it in, and first responders took him to the hospital.

Cline says he's feeling better, but he says he's worried about his county.

"This is a dangerous time; this is a very dangerous time."

Cline says the drug problem in Rowan county is growing at a rapid speed.

"You just don't know what you're going to walk into."

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