Faribault Police Chief Andy Bohlen, Northfield Police Chief Monte Nelson, Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn and Le Sueur County Sheriff Dave Tietz released a joint news release today concerning an investigation into a carfentanil overdose.

On Valentine's Day this year, the Faribault Police Department responded to a residence in the 300 block of Sixth Avenue Northeast for a death investigation involving a 43-year-old woman.

The news release states, "Initial investigative findings pointed to a possible drug overdose. The Cannon River Drug and Violent Offender Task Force was contacted and took over the investigation and has been working with the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office."

On Tuesday, Hennepin County Medical Examiner Dr. Andrew Baker received toxicology reports showing the victim died from having carfentanil in her system.

The investigation continues.

The news release goes on: "Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid which is approximately 10,000 times more potent than morphine and 100 times more potent than fentanyl."

Having this present in the illicit drug markets has law enforcement concerned because, "the relative strength of this drug could lead to an increase in overdoses and overdose-related deaths, even among opioid-tolerant users."

This also presents a serious risk to public safety, first responders, medical treatment and laboratory personnel because the substance can come in several forms.

"Carfentanil is used as a tranquilizing agent for elephants and other large animals. An extremely small amount (the size of a couple grains of salt) can be fatal to humans."

All Rice and Le Sueur county public safety agencies in the Cannon River Drug and Violent Offender Task Force have access to naloxone in the event of exposure. Naloxone is the antidote for opioid overdose.

Authorities issued the news release because they want to inform the public about this very dangerous substance.

Representatives from the Faribault Police Department and Rice County Sheriff's Office are attending a news conference this afternoon at Minneapolis City Hall in an effort to get the word to the metropolitan area.

photo by Gordy Kosfeld September 28, 2016
photo by Gordy Kosfeld September 28, 2016

More From KDHL Radio