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East Lyme man charged after child's exposure to fentanyl

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East Lyme — An East Lyme man was arrested Friday after police alleged that a 6-year-old child in his care was exposed to fentanyl.

Joshua Jones, 31, of an undisclosed address in East Lyme was charged with two counts of risk of injury to a minor after police arrested him by warrant Friday.

Police said in a news release Friday that about 10:40 p.m. on Dec. 17, 2019, the Flanders Fire Department responded to a call for a 6-year-old male having difficulty breathing. The child was transported to Lawrence + Memorial Hospital for treatment, where he was administered Narcan. He then was transported to Yale New Haven Hospital, where he tested positive for fentanyl.

Police Chief Michael Finkelstein said the hospital contacted the Department of Children and Families and East Lyme police. That same day, police began to investigate the incident and searched the residence by the owner's consent.

Finkelstein said police included medical records and conducted interviews as part of their investigation. A judge served the arrest warrant Friday and set Jones' bond at $100,000.

Finkelstein said Jones posted that bond and is due Monday in New London Superior Court.

Finkelstein could not identify the child’s relationship with Jones and said it wasn’t clear how the child was exposed to the powerful synthetic opioid drug.

“We have some speculation but nothing definitive,” Finkelstein said. “We believe that (the child) had contact with paraphernalia and we don’t believe there was an injection of the substance.”

“With a 6-year-old child and fentanyl, it doesn’t take much exposure to have a respiratory effect,” he said.



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