Pasco Police Say They Have Responded to Seven Overdose Deaths in 2021

Pasco Police Department

PASCO, WA-

This past weekend, three adult men passed away from drug overdoses. Two of them were brothers.

Sgt. Rigo Pruneda, Resource Seargant and Public Information Officer at the Pasco Police Department, says these overdoses may have been linked to certain narcotics that have been circulating in our area.

On Friday, Pasco Police arrested someone who had 90 counterfeit oxycodone pills, and police believe they were selling them. 

They are little blue pills that have an "M" on them with the number 30 on the back. He says these counterfeit pills are made with several narcotics and are laced with fentanyl, and even a small amount of it can be lethal.

"It's very dangerous especially since it's not regulated and we don't know who is making this stuff," said Sgt, Pruneda.

According to the 2020 annual reports by both Franklin and Benton county coroners--combined, There were 51 accidental drug-related deaths last year.

Pasco Police responded to 14 drug-related fatalities in 2020 . Now, two months into 2021, They've had seven overdose-related deaths.

"It doesn't matter how far you feel you're at the bottom. If you're an addict and addicted to drugs and you're turning to street drugs, there is always help," said Sgt. Pruneda. "Give us a call. We will show up and give you the resources that you need. We'll take care of the narcotics you have that need to be taken away."

If someone you know is struggling with drug addiction, reach out. BIt could make all the difference.

"Please if you know anybody, talk to them, ask them how they're doing and make sure they're not turning to street drugs because we don't know what's in those drugs," said Sgt. Pruneda.

He says there are people in this community that care about you.

"If you don't have a person, maybe a church or a best friend or like I said you can even call us and talk to us. We have mental health professionals that work with us," said Pruneda.

Pasco Police are working with their street crime units and detectives along with other agencies in our area to stop street drugs before they cause more deaths in our community.

"The Tri-Cities is a community. It's not just Pasco its a Kennewick problem, Richland problem, we are pooling our resources together and working hard to find out where these drugs are coming from and who's selling them," said Sgt. Pruneda.

Resources:

Narcotics Anonymous: Tri-Cities area - 833.437.3480

Washington Recovery Hotline: 866.789.1511

Alcohol Drug Helpline: 206.725.9696

24-Hour Crisis Line: 866.4.CRISIS (866.427.4747)