EUREKA (CBS SF/AP) — The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office says there has been a substantial increase in illicit distribution of fentanyl and an alarming number of overdose deaths this year.

“As of April 14, 2021, the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office has received confirmation of eight fentanyl overdose deaths in the county, with six in the month of March alone. Multiple overdose death investigations remain pending receipt of toxicology reports, with more fentanyl cases anticipated,” the office said in statement Wednesday.

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Additionally, in 2021 alone, Humboldt County Drug Task Force Agents have seized over 187 grams of Fentanyl and approximately 5,002 Fentanyl pills. In comparison, agents seized just 3 grams of Fentanyl in 2020 and three Fentanyl patches in 2019.

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“What we are seeing currently are products that contain larger doses of fentanyl, especially in pill form,” Lieutenant Shawn Sopoaga, Humboldt County Drug Task Force Commander said. “Fentanyl is being transported to Humboldt County in a raw form and used as a cutting agent, by dealers, to produce more product.”

Humboldt County Sheriff William Honsal said the concerns were over potential teen usage.

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“One of my biggest concerns is that our teenagers and young adults are taking pills from these dealers that are laced with fentanyl. The chances of overdose is very high,” Honsal said. “We are working with both our state and federal law enforcement partners to hold those persons accountable that are pushing fentanyl in our community.”