3 Louisiana men arrested in possible fentanyl ring; teenager dies of overdose

3 Louisiana men arrested in possible fentanyl ring; teenager dies of overdose
3 Louisiana men arrested in possible fentanyl ring; teenager dies of overdose

GALLIANO — Three Louisiana men have been charged with distributing pills that killed a 15-year-old girl and hospitalized a 16-year-old boy, and more arrests are possible in what investigators believe was a fentanyl ring, a sheriff said Tuesday.

Blayne Terrebonne, 18, of Larose, was arrested on Thursday, the day deputies responded to a 4.30am report of the boy’s apparent overdose and, hours later, the girl’s death in different homes in Galliano, Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre said in a news release.

Investigators believe the two thought they were taking Percocet, a brand of oxycodone, said Capt. Brennan Matherne, a spokeswoman for Webre.

Cut Off’s Sergio Perez, 18, was arrested Thursday night and Anthony Francis, 21, of Larose was arrested on Monday, Webre said.

Each of the three was arrested for illegally distributing drugs. It was unclear whether any of them had attorneys who could speak on their behalf.

The sheriff’s office released a photo of what investigators believe is a Snapchat ad for the drug, showing round blue pills printed with a capital M in a square, Matherne said. He said the Percocet pills looked similar but the counterfeits were powderier and had no dosage markings on the back.

Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid, can be 50 times more potent than the same amount of heroin.

Webre said the boy regained consciousness after two doses of Narcan and was taken to hospital.

“When you use a drug that you bought on the street, you are – literally – risking your life,” Webre said. “You take the word of a drug dealer about what the substance is. The question to ask is whether the high you are looking for is worth dying for.

Galliano is about 61 kilometers south of New Orleans, where the coroner reported in April that drug deaths last year were up 35% from 2020, and that fentanyl was implicated in almost all.

Opioids were implicated in 1,384 deaths statewide last year, compared to 982 in 2020, according to the Louisiana Department of Health. A graph in an August report indicated that nearly 1,000 deaths in 2021 involved fentanyl, with all synthetic opioids accounting for nearly 1,200 deaths.

“Deaths involving fentanyl have increased by more than 2000% since 2014,” the report said.

The sheriff said further charges were possible against the arrested men. He did not specify what charges are being considered.

Under Louisiana law, people can be charged with murder for distributing or distributing an illegal drug causing death.

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