MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Hastings authorities are vowing to aggressively investigate drug and underage alcohol access after an 18-year-old high school senior overdosed on heroin in March.
The Hasting Police Department said Monday that the 18-year-old was found dead in his home on March 17. According to the Dakota County Medical Examiner the teen died after ingesting a mix of heroin and alcohol.
The incident is still under investigation, and police say they are trying to determine the source of the heroin and alcohol.
The teen’s name has not been released.
Hasting Mayor Paul Hicks said the recent drug-related death shows that Hastings is not immune to the effects of illicit drug use.
“We need to do more to stop this problem,” Hicks said in a press release. “We have tasked our police department to immediately develop and implement a more aggressive…strategy that is focused on solving this problem.”
For the next 60 days, police say they will have a full-time investigator working to gather drug-related intelligence that will be forwarded to the Dakota County Drug Task Force.
Hasting Police Chief Paul Schnell said that while the police can’t arrest drug use away, they can affect the distribution and possession of illegal drugs.
Schnell said police arrested two men — 20-year-old Jonathan Vernon Arndt and 18-year-old Austin Bauer — Friday for possessing marijuana. Bauer, a high school student, was released Friday pending criminal charges. Arndt is in the Dakota County Jail.
A criminal complaint also says that there is probable cause to think that Arndt bought the heroin mixture — a combination of a Morphine derivative and a Codeine derivative — that the high school student mentioned above overdosed on.
If you know anything about drug activity in Hastings, call police. You can also offer anonymous tips by texting the word HASTINGS, along with tip information, to 847411 (TIP411).
Police plan to release the results of the 60-day investigation at a city council meeting in June.