6 people arrested in connection to recent spike in synthetic marijuana overdoses

More than 100 people overdosed in Minneapolis in a three-week span.

Six people have been arrested in connection to a recent spike in synthetic marijuana overdoses in Minneapolis. 

Two people – Melissa Kay Moe and Eric Uriah Renfro – have been charged with felonies as a result of the Minneapolis Police Department's investigation into the more than 100 overdoses that happened in downtown Minneapolis during a three-week span this fall, officer Corey Schmidt told GoMN. 

What is synthetic marijuana, and why is it more dangerous?

Officers executed search warrants in the area of 16th and Chicago avenues, which led to the arrests of Moe, Renfro and another woman (she hasn't been formally charged). 

They're all suspected in the selling and distributing of the drugs that caused the overdoses, Schmidt said. 

During their search, police recovered a quarter-pound of synthetic marijuana (also known as K2 or spice), cash and drug paraphernalia (see photo above). Schmidt said even the small amount of K2 they recovered will "continue to significantly" reduce the number of overdoses that have been happening. 

In conjunction with the search warrants, three other adults were arrested and cited for loitering, but were then released. Their connection to the K2 investigation is ongoing, with Schmidt noting more arrests are possible. 

Schmidt said the spike in overdoses were first noticed around Sept. 27, with Dr. Jon Cole of the Hennepin County Medical Center telling the Star Tribune that 128 of this year's 177 documented K2 overdoses happened in a three-week span from the end of September to mid-October.

K2 is more dangerous than regular marijuana because it's made up of synthetic substances, not a plant. The chemicals included are completely up to whoever made that batch, and it can be more potent.

Cole said this version of K2 "seemed to be associated with a really unusual state of delirium where patients would become agitated and violent one moment, and nearly comatose the next, WCCO says

No one has died in connection to this case, reports note. 

GoMN has reached out to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office for a copy of the charges and search warrants filed in connection to this case.

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