“The devil’s been busy in your backyard.”

The Traveling Wilburys

We have nothing to fear — but should fear ourselves.

Present-day society spends a lot of time telling us who the enemy is.

The Red states tell you to fear the Blue.

The Blue tell you to fear the Red.

If it’s not from within our own political sphere, the Iranians are going to get us. Or maybe the Russians.

All the while, the real threat to the America we know and love is being peddled — unbeknownst to many — in our own backyard.

Last week, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced a pair of Fort Wayne men had been arrested after search warrants were served in multiple Allen County locations.

Steven Hecke, 44, and Samuel Battell, 34, both of Fort Wayne were charged in a criminal complaint filed late Jan. 15 with possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine and fentanyl along with possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime, U.S. Attorney Kirsch announced in a press release.

According to documents in this case, on or about Jan. 13, agents executed a series of search warrants at multiple locations in Allen County. During the execution of search warrants, law enforcement found approximately 19 pounds of methamphetamine, 900 grams of fentanyl, multiple firearms and U.S. currency.

The key number in all those figures is 900 grams of fentanyl.

Nine hundred grams of fentanyl translates into 900,000 milligrams of the drug. According to the DEA, coming into contact with two milligrams of the drug is lethal to the average person.

That is 450,000 lethal doses seized in one bust.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the combined estimated population of DeKalb, LaGrange, Noble, Steuben and Whitley counties was 199,000, as of July 1, 2018.

In just one large bust, law enforcement seized enough fentanyl to kill everyone in those five counties more than twice over.

Talk about your weapons of mass destruction.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid, considerably stronger than heroin.

“The fentanyl is being added to a kilo of regular heroin,” an undercover operative with the Noble County Sheriff’s Department’s Drug Investigation Unit said. “It’s way more powerful.”

By adding fentanyl, dealers are trying to sway users to their “stronger” brand.

When mid-level dealers are cutting up the drugs for individual sale, sometimes the street level buyers don’t even know something’s been added.

“People don’t know there’s fentanyl in it,” the undercover operative said.

A user purchases his or her usual dose, not knowing that something has been added that can kill them.

While Noble County still sees more meth than heroin, officers are dealing with overdoses far too regularly. The operative estimated that 80% of the overdose deaths in Noble County involve fentanyl.

With fentanyl so lethal at such a small dose, a person finding a family member unconscious may not even see the drug that will make them a victim too.

The risk is through the roof for police officers and medical first responders who go to these scenes to help.

Are the Russians bent on intervening in American elections? Are the Democrats trying to take away our right to bear arms?

The real question which should be haunting us is if a 900 gram shipment of fentanyl (roughly two pounds) had broken open in a large postal distribution center and then been transported by postal carriers who didn’t even realize they’d been exposed into small town America.

Maybe the real risk is there won’t be anyone alive to vote. Will there be anyone alive to bear arms?

Authorities in Fort Wayne seized a weapon of mass destruction.

The devil’s been busy in our backyard.

MATT GETTS writes an occasional column for this newspaper. He can be reached via email at mgetts@kpcmedia.com.

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