MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Suspected drug dealers are now in custody a month after more than 100 people overdosed on the synthetic drug K2.
Police arrested seven suspects.
We know the identities of two of them: 38-year-old Melissa Moe of St. Paul and 47-year-old Eric Renfro of Minneapolis.
Police say those seven arrests have been connected to at least 125 K2 overdoses.
They say those overdoses took place from late September and into October.
Investigators say Moe, Renfro and others sold people K2, also known as synthetic marijuana or spice, on the streets near 16th and Chicago Avenue in Minneapolis.
The investigation became a priority after Hennepin County Medical Center and other hospitals saw a spike in overdose cases earlier this fall.
Doctors at HCMC say they normally see one or two K2 overdose cases a day, but during that span they saw more than 100 in two weeks.
It was the largest cluster of cases in Minnesota this year, and during the investigation and subsequent arrests, a quarter pound of K2 was taken off the streets.
“This particular version 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, which is dangerous for them but also dangerous for the people around them,” HCMC emergency physician Dr. Jon Cole said.
Both Moe and Renfro face narcotics charges, and both have lengthy criminal histories that include theft and drug possession.
Police say they do expect more arrests to be made before this is all said and done.