'Very likely' more tainted drugs still on the street as new victim found unresponsive downtown

Posted at 6:30 PM, Feb 02, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-02 18:30:26-05

INDIANAPOLIS -- Indianapolis police say it’s “very likely” more of the synthetic drug linked to two dozen overdoses this week is still circulating on the streets.

At least 25 overdose cases in a 24-hour period between Wednesday and Thursday have been blamed on a bad batch of a drug called “flakka” – a synthetic substance similar to bath salts. Investigators believe the drug may have had other substances, specifically PCP, mixed in.

The drugs are believed to have been distributed from the Wheeler Mission. Wheeler officials said eight of the overdoses occurred inside the mission, and that at least 17 victims had been staying at Wheeler.

MORE | 25 overdoses in 24 hours in one block of downtown Indianapolis

The overdose spike had appeared to end Thursday morning, when two cases were reported, but medics were again called to the area on Friday for another victim suffering similar symptoms.

According to an IMPD report, shortly after 10 a.m. officers and medics were called to the 400 block of East Wabash Street for a subject found lying in the street between the curb and a vehicle.

Police said the man’s eyes were open and he was breathing, but that he was unable or unwilling to respond verbally. Medics determined he appeared to be under the influence of a substance and transported him to Eskenazi Hospital for further treatment.

IMPD said detectives believe the suspected overdose is connected to the same batch of flakka as the others in the area. That means, they said, more of the tainted drug is likely still out there.

Police announced Thursday afternoon that they’d made two arrests in the case. The suspects, 59-year-old Melvin Cannon and 63-year-old Nathaniel Davis, were taken into custody on preliminary charges of dealing marijuana, maintaining a common nuisance and possession of a controlled substance.

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