WILTON MANORS (CBSMiami) –– Police have confirmed they have made an arrest in the overdosing of college students who ingested cocaine laced with fentanyl in Wilton Manors.
Police identified Axel Giovany Casseus, 21, as the person who sold the spring breakers the drugs.READ MORE: There's No Business Like Shoe Business & The High End Sneaker Business Is Booming
He appeared in bond court on Saturday morning.
Authorities confirmed that four West Point cadets were taken to the hospital Thursday. One of them is a football player, one person was not taken to hospital and one was not a cadet.
On Friday, West Point released the following statement, which read in part:
“The U.S. Military Academy is aware of the situation involving West Point cadets, which occurred Thursday night in Wilton Manors. The incident is currently under investigation.”
When authorities arrived at the Airbnb home, in the 800 block of NW 29 Court, they found six college students who had difficulty breathing.
“They seem like good kids, typical college kids,” said one neighbor. “Rowdy in the pool, but they don’t deserve this.”
Shock from neighbors is coupled with worry from fire rescue crews after the six spring breakers overdosed.
“It brings great concern that there could be other ODs over the next couple of days,” City of Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Stephen Gollan said.
Four of those who overdosed went into cardiac arrest before two friends tried to help by performing CPR. That’s when they were also exposed to the drug, said rescue officials.
The opioid-overdose-reversing drug naloxone was administered, according to Gollan.
Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue officials say three people remain hospitalized.READ MORE: Wife Of Slain Cyclist Pushes For Safety Measures After 2 More Deaths On Rickenbacker Causeway
Wilton Manors Mayor Scott Newton confirmed two are in ICU, one is critical and the others have been sent home.
Newton tells CBS4 News that one of the two in ICU is “touch and go.”
The mayor was stunned to learn the four who OD’d and the two who got sick from cross-contamination performing CPR are cadets at West Point.
“That was a huge surprise. I found that out this afternoon. I’m actually shocked. Some are football players and they’re doing that. I feel bad for the families and for them,” said Newton.
Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue confirming fentanyl-laced cocaine was the culprit …a potentially deadly combo…
One neighbor told CBS4 the house has been an Airbnb for about three years and the months of March and April are chaotic.
“They’re in the pool until 4 o’clock in the morning partying, clearly drinking,” said another neighbor. “But we don’t call the cops, because they’re just kids having fun.”
Fentanyl is extremely potent. It’s 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine and used to treat severe pain, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease and Prevention.
“I think a lot of them go into it thinking I’m just going to get high, it’s just going to be a buzz, but it could end up being their last buzz because it could be laced with fentanyl,” said Dr. Daniel Bober who’s a Psychiatrist and addiction Medicine Physician at Memorial Regional.
“I think the problem is that a lot of people don’t realize that a lot of substances are laced with fentanyl, not just opioids but cocaine, marijuana, methamphetamine and so they may not be getting what they think they’re getting and may lead to deadly consequences.”
A 2020 report from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement shows three districts in South Florida are in the top 10 for fentanyl-related deaths.
The Fort Lauderdale area is the highest.MORE NEWS: Miami PD Needs Help Finding 84-Year-Old Joseph Downs
“Obviously if there’s a bad batch, it’s not isolated just to one buyer, it normally goes to everyone that purchases that same substance from whoever they got it from,” said Gollan.