Authorities in Tennessee are warning residents not to pick up discarded folded dollar bills because they may contain fentanyl.
The Perry County Sheriff's Office said there were two incidents where "a white powdery substance" was found inside folded bills left on the floor of a local gas station.
The powder was tested and came back positive for methamphetamine and fentanyl, the sheriff's office said in a Facebook statement.
"This is very dangerous, folks! Please share and educate your children to not pick up the money," Sheriff Nick Weems said. "I personally plan to push for legislation for a bill that would intensify the punishment, if someone is caught using money as a carrying pouch for such poison. It enrages me as a father and the Sheriff, that people can act so carelessly and have no regard for others well being, especially a child."
Weems said the office was looking for whoever was responsible for leaving the bills. He could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
The warning was also shared by the Giles County Sheriff’s Office, which told people to “be aware and be safe.” The office, located about 80 miles from Perry County, said that even a small amount of laced fentanyl is enough to kill anyone who comes into contact with it.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is up to 100 times stronger than morphine and 50 times stronger than heroin, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
Powdered fentanyl is commonly mixed with heroin, methamphetamine and other drugs and is extremely dangerous. The CDC said that more than 150 people die every day from overdoses related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl.