Anoka County sheriff issues warning after string of suspected overdoses

Four people have died this month.
Author:
Publish date:

A batch of dangerous pills — possibly containing the opioid fentanyl — appears to be circulating in Anoka County.

According to a the local sheriff, there have been at least five suspected overdoses in the area this month. That includes two victims on Friday, one of whom unfortunately died. The other three victims from earlier in May also did not survive.

A news release says the scenes of each incident had one thing in common: the presence of pills "described as being light colored or light blue in color with the letter 'M' bordered by a square on them."

As the sheriff's office notes, similar pills have popped up across both Minnesota and the nation; some have been found to be "tainted or counterfeit oxycodone pills," while others have contained fentanyl — a potent synthetic opioid responsible for many deaths.

In light of the recent overdoses, the sheriff is warning the public "to only take prescription type medications that have been prescribed specifically to them and when the medication was obtained from a pharmacy."

This coincides with a similar incident in Blue Earth County, where three men suffered suspected overdoses on Thursday. One of them died. 

Counterfeit oxycodone is also suspected in those cases. 

The federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has warned about counterfeit pills in recent months and years.

“Counterfeit pills that contain fentanyl and fentanyl-laced heroin are responsible for thousands of opioid-related deaths in the United States each year," DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon said in a November 2019 news release

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-01-18 at 12.27.04 PM

Man's vehicles crushed by hit-and-run driver weren't fully insured

The goal is to raise $25,000 to help the south Minneapolis resident.

Joe Biden

Key points from Joe Biden's first speech as POTUS

The 46th president called for unity at a time America is facing huge challenges.

coronavirus, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Wednesday, January 20

The 111 ICU patients is the fewest in Minnesota since there were 109 COVID patients in intensive care on Oct. 1.

Klobuchar

Here's what Amy Klobuchar said at Joe Biden's inauguration

The Minnesota senator was one of the leader organizers of the inauguration.

covid-19, vaccine

All of this week's COVID vaccine pilot program appointments are filled

Nearly 6,000 Minnesotans who are 65 and older registered for appointments between noon Tuesday and Wednesday morning.

Lane kueng thao chauvin

Osterholm affidavit ahead of George Floyd trial warns of COVID worsening in March

Prosecutors want to delay the Chauvin trial due to a public health threat.

WCCO-AM's Sheletta Brundidge talks with Lil Nas X

830-WCCO host calls for Dave Lee's replacement to be person of color

WCCO-AM has not had a person of color as a weekday daytime host in its history.

Screen Shot 2021-01-20 at 8.57.50 AM

Harmful grass fly larvae found in shipment to International Falls

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials safeguarded the shipment until the threat could be mitigated.

Keith Ellison

Minnesota high schoolers will be reimbursed for canceled European trips

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced a settlement with the travel company Friday.

Donald Trump

Trump pardons Minnesota man convicted on drug charge in 1992

John Harold Wall was among the 143 people granted clemency in one of Trump's final acts as president.

Related

St. Paul PD issues warning after 6 overdoses in one day

Police suspect the substance may have been laced with fentanyl.

Anoka Co. has at least 3 OD deaths over last 10 days

The local sheriff says the county sees "4-6 heroin overdoses every day."

Screen Shot 2019-07-09 at 11.01.36 AM

Overdose deaths involving opioids, other drugs fell in MN last year

It's welcome news, but health officials say overdose rates are still at historic highs.

Finney marini

2 charged in connection with man's fatal overdose in Waconia

A 33-year-old man died after taking heroin combined with fentanyl.

St. Paul man, 23, dies in Anoka County crash

Two other people were hurt in the wreck, which happened Friday in Oak Grove.

fentanyl pill

Statewide warning about fentanyl-laced pills that have already killed 1

The pills appear like legal oxycodone, but contain the deadly synthetic opioid.