St. Thomas police have laid numerous charges after an arrest allegedly turned into struggle and a search for concealed drugs led to several officers being exposed to purple fentanyl.

Police initiated a traffic stop around 10 p.m. Tuesday on First Avenue near Forest Avenue after reportedly spotting a wanted man in the passenger seat of a vehicle.

The driver of the vehicle was reportedly a woman the suspect was under court order not to associate with.

During the arrest, police say two officers were assaulted, and a switch blade that fell from the suspect's pocket during the struggle was seized.

The 27-year-old man St. Thomas man was then transported to the cells at the Colin McGregor Justice Building.

Police say the man became aggressive after officers found fentanyl concealed in his undergarments and there was a struggle as the suspect tried to swallow several small bags of drugs.

One bag allegedly tore open, affecting the suspect and three officers. Naloxone was administered and the suspect was taken to hospital for treatment.

The three officers were able to return to duty after being decontaminated.

The suspect was remanded in custody on the original charge of possessing and uttering counterfeit money in connection with an incident where he reportedly try to pay for pizza with a fake bill.

He is also facing 16 additional charges in relation to the arrest, they include:

  • possession for the purpose of trafficking
  • six counts fail to comply with probation order
  • two counts assault peace officer
  • obstruct peace officer
  • unauthorized possession of weapon
  • fail to comply with recognizance
  • four counts possession of weapon contrary to prohibition order

Police say several small baggies of purple fentanyl totaling 7.6 grams with a street value of $4,500 were seized.