Five suspected overdoses in five days in Rochester
(ABC 6 News) – Police are speculating about a “Bad batch” of opioids after at least five people overdosed in Rochester in the last five days.
Rochester Police gave three people Narcan at three separate locations Friday: a 24-year old man, a 71-year old man, and a 31-year old woman. All three survived, but Rochester Police suspect they used heroin mixed with fentanyl.
Monday night, Rochester Police found a 34-year old man dead in his home. Just a few hours later, officers also found a 63-year old man dead in his home.
These two, police also suspect, used heroin and fentanyl. They found drug-related items at the scene.
Tuesday morning the department was concerned about a “bad batch.”
Captain Mike Bromberg says in small towns, bad batches are pretty obvious. However in a city the size of Rochester, it can be difficult to pin down.
“It gets spread out and divided out so fast,” Bromberg commented.
Bromberg leads the Southeast Minnesota Violent Crime Enforcement Team, an agency in charge of investigating drug crimes. He says his team usually has a matter of days to investigate an overdose before suspects disappear, and evidence goes stale.
“A lot of these people won’t talk to us, and therefore it kind of roadblocks us for us to get started,” he said.
According to Bromberg the person using drugs is rarely charged with a crime. He says his office is only interested in charging large-scale dealers.
“It’s meaningless for us to investigate them as a criminal. I think people have to start looking at drug overdoses differently. They’re a homicide. There’s no two ways about it.”
Police ask people to take precautions and not use if at all possible. Those who do use, do not use alone and have Narcan nearby.