BURLINGTON, N.C. (WFMY) — Burlington police are investigating after 13 small baggies of a white powdery substance were found on the side of a neighborhood road in the city.
Police discovered the baggies scattered across the intersection of Trail Two and Trail Three on Wednesday morning, not far from Burlington Christian Church.
Investigators don’t know what the powdery substance is at this time.
Lt. Chuck Ward with the Burlington Police Department says it could be real drugs like cocaine or heroin.
Ward says it could also be a hoax — a drug dealer trying to use fake powder and pass it off to somebody that’s unsuspecting.
Either way, Ward says police are worried about what could happen if one of those baggies ended up in the hands of a child.
“If it’s a narcotic and it’s extremely pure, it could be extremely hazardous and even life-threatening,” said Ward. “If it’s some other type of fake substance, it may have a chemical composition that could be hazardous to health if it’s ingested or comes in contact with the body.”
Police say the bags were sealed, so officers did not conduct any field testing in order to reduce any risk of exposure.
“If it’s a joke, it’s not funny. It’s a significant concern for us and even for our safety when responding and when we are dealing with it,” said Ward. “If it is truly a narcotic, why are these things so readily available? Why are they being discarded in such a loose fashion?”
This isn’t the first time something like this has happened in Burlington.
Last September, police found nearly 100 bags of fentanyl on Chapel Hill Road.
Officials say the bags they found on Wednesday morning will be sent off for testing and analysis.
After that, police say the bags will likely be turned over to the vice/narcotics division for DNA testing.
During that process, detectives will test to determine if the DNA can be linked to any other cases or suspects.
Anyone with information of the substance or who may have put it there is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 336-229-7100.