PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A McMinnville man is facing federal charges after the Department of Justice said he sold fentanyl that killed one person and caused six more to overdose.
Investigators say 28-year-old John Donnahoo from McMinnville sold the group cocaine, and according to court docs obtained by KOIN 6, the group tried to test the drugs for fentanyl before taking them.
Dean Shold is the co-creator of FentCheck, a non-profit formed to prevent fentanyl overdoses, and he said fentanyl is winding up in all sorts of drugs often to unsuspecting users.
“If you think you’re getting heroin, it’s likely laced, even cocaine could have it,” Shold said.
According to the Center for Disease Control, overdose deaths are increasing in America. They say 75 percent of overdose deaths in the U.S. last year involved an opioid and 65 percent, a synthetic opioid like fentanyl.
The Department of Justice said a group of people who overdosed in McMinnville last month thought they were taking cocaine.
According to an affidavit, one of the people using what they thought was coke “tested the substance twice with some version of a fentanyl test kit…” and “…said there was a problem with the first test but that the second test was negative for fentanyl.”
According to police, one person ended up dying, and the mass overdose tied up resources in the small town.
They told KOIN 6 that first responders ran out of naloxone, an overdose reversal drug, because so many people were overdosing at once, and they required so many doses.
Shold told KOIN 6 test strips are remarkably effective and can save lives if the strips are used correctly.
“Our strips can detect ten nanograms,” said Shold. “If used properly, it works.”
More information about FentCheck can be found on their website.
Shold said if you plan on using any drugs, you should have Narcan handy.