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Couple Arrested in Fatal Fentanyl Overdoses at Honolulu Hotel

(AP) — Authorities have arrested a man and woman they say supplied the fentanyl in a mass overdose at an oceanfront Hawaii hotel that left two people dead.
Avery Garrard and Keina Drageset were taken into custody Friday and are charged with conspiring with each other and others to distribute fentanyl that resulted in death, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday.
Honolulu police and paramedics found five people who were either unresponsive or needed medical help at the Outrigger Reef Waikiki Beach Resort on June 4. One man was pronounced dead at the scene, and another later died at a hospital.
As of Tuesday, the Honolulu medical examiner’s office hadn’t determined a cause of death for either man.
The three who survived told Drug Enforcement Administration investigators they had believed the drugs, which were acquired by one of the dead men, were cocaine or MDMA.
“All three did not know the substance possibly contained fentanyl,” a DEA agent wrote in the complaint.
Two people the document called sources who have not yet been charged but are cooperating with law enforcement identified Garrard and Drageset as the suppliers of the fentanyl.
A search of the couple’s apartment last week in a Honolulu luxury building turned up approximately $100,000 in cash in a safe, along with drugs that tested positive for fentanyl, the complaint said. They were arrested later that day in a white Tesla.
Neal Kugiya, an attorney representing Garrard, declined to comment before an initial appearance for the pair scheduled for Tuesday.
Jacquelyn Esser, Drageset’s attorney, also declined to comment.
Fentanyl is an opioid many times more powerful than heroin and typically is prescribed to treat severe pain. It frequently appears as an illegal street drug mixed with other substances.
Experts say the growing prevalence of fentanyl in the illicit drug supply is a top driver of the increasing number of overdose deaths in the U.S.
Outrigger worked closely with law enforcement to provide any assistance needed, spokesperson Monica Salter said, adding that the resort “committed to maintaining the highest level of safety and security measures” for guests and hosts.
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