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Charges likely for suspected drug dealer in five fentanyl overdoses

The Genesee Township police chief said two people died, one remains critical and two others are expected to be okay.
Published: Aug. 7, 2020 at 5:57 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (8/7/2020) - Genesee Township police received calls for five overdoses within minutes. The chief said this happened at three different homes.

Two people died, one remains critical.

Now, one person is in custody for their deaths. Genesee Township Police Chief John Mulally believes the suspect supplied all five with fentanyl-laced cocaine.

“You play with fire, I guess you’re going to get burned eventually and these people do not understand that this is not a game anymore, you know, you’re dying,” he said.

Genesee Township police responded to a home on Terry Avenue in Beecher after midnight Sunday. Mulally said the 911 call was for a man who had a heart attack. It turned out the cardiac arrest was caused by a drug overdose and rescue crews couldn’t revive him.

Minutes later, Mulally said his officers were called to a home on the other side of town on East Coldwater Road. There, they found two people who overdosed. Both were rushed to the hospital and Mulally said they have recovered.

But as they were transported, the chief said his officers were called back to Terry Avenue to a different home for two more overdoses. One man died and a woman is not expected to survive.

“We’re pretty sure that they all three are related because of where they got the drugs from,” Mulally said.

He believes they must’ve all been at a party together.

Genesee Township police officers arrested the suspected dealer at the last home on Terry Avenue. He’s accused of supplying cocaine likely laced with fentanyl to all five people who overdosed.

“Without the toxicology, the thinking is right now that it is fentanyl, which is you know a sedative that they used to calm elephants,” Mulally said.

The man has been let out of jail as police wait for the toxicology results to confirm their suspicions. It could take one to two weeks.

Mulally said the suspect has been cooperative, likely because he knows the people who died.

“Be nice to go up the food chain to find out where he got it from,” Mulally added.

His officers respond to overdose calls weekly. The chief said it’s rare to actually track down and charge the supplier. He’s hopeful this arrest will keep the community safe.

“It’s not like drugs stay in the backyard,” Mulally said. “Once they get out, it’s just like anything else, you know. It’s like this COVID-19 stuff, you know, it’s here one minute and it’s five miles down the road in 10 minutes.”

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