CAMDEN COUNTY, Ga. – A criminal investigation is underway in Camden County, where investigators say 10 people recently overdosed on drugs that are believed to have been laced with fentanyl.
The overdoses were reported on Friday and Saturday. Investigators said one person died.
Notably, Southeast Georgia Health System said its emergency room in Camden County typically averages just three overdose cases a week.
On Friday, Camden County Emergency Management along with the Kingsland and St. Marys police departments issued alerts to residents on social media, warning people to cease all recreational drug use, including the use of marijuana, because investigators suspected a bad batch of narcotics spiked with fentanyl is now on the streets throughout Camden County.
A woman who asked not to be identified said that her friend was one of the 10 people in Camden County who overdosed. She said her friend was revived and survived.
Marcus Fisher, however, said he lost his best friend this past weekend due to an overdose.
“I’ve never in my life lost someone that close,” Fisher said. “I really won’t come to terms until I feel like some type of justice is done.”
Fisher and the other woman both believe the 10 people who overdosed had no idea what they were actually taking.
“When I got the news, it was hard to understand because I know it was nothing he did to bring it to that point,” Fisher said.
“They think they’re taking one thing and it ends up being something else,” the woman said.
Now, the Drug Enforcement Administration office in Savannah, which oversees federal drug enforcement operations in Southeast Georgia, has gotten involved.
Deverron Ramcheran, with the DEA, said it’s working to find out “where it came from and when was it introduced into the community.”
Ralph Iorio is the DEA resident agent in charge over the Savannah office. He said his office has noticed a considerable uptick in fentanyl-related overdoses.
“It’s actually gotten out of hand,” Iorio said. “We’ve seen it in Savannah. We’ve seen it down in Jacksonville. And now you’re seeing it everywhere in between.”
In South Florida, Dr. Diane Bolland is the director of toxicology at the Miami Dade Medical Examiner’s office. She has seen many fatal overdose cases.
“For a lot of our overdose cases right now, the number of drugs or the polydrugs that are present is really significant,” Bolland explained. “So we’ll see fentanyl in conjunction with cocaine, also with heroin and also with Xanax.”