Holyoke Police warn of heroin stamped ‘POWER’ after 9 overdoses in 16 hours

Staff Writer
Published: 11/23/2019 3:30:18 PM

HOLYOKE — After police responded to nine overdoses in 16 hours Friday that left one person dead, authorities are warning Holyoke residents about bags of heroin stamped “POWER” as those are believed to be “the common denominator” in each of the overdoses.

Holyoke Police Lt. James Albert said Saturday that though one person died from an overdose, eight were saved due to the quick administration of Narcan by first responders and Action Ambulance crews. 

Although it isn’t customary for police to identify specific bags or stamps of drugs, Albert said the department decided to forgo such policy out of an abundance of caution since “the threat of serious harm or death is so great.”

“Avoid these bags at all costs,” Albert said. 

Most of the overdoses were in the downtown area, Albert said, though some happened in the Highlands. Albert said police did not know what was causing the spate of overdoses, but he believes the heroin is likely cut with something else.

“It’s obviously affecting them in significantly adverse ways,” he said.

Recently, 150 bags of heroin marked “Power” were reportedly seized at the home of Benny Garcia, a city father whose 5-year-old son allegedly put a baggie of heroin stamped with Spider-Man in his mouth at kindergarten.

The Holyoke Police warning is made in conjunction with the Hampden County district attorney’s office, Albert said.

Holyoke Police, along with Massachusetts State Police detectives, are investigating the source of the bags, Albert said. Anyone with information that may assist with the investigation is encouraged to call 413-322-6900.

Michael Connors can be reached at mconnors@gazettenet.com. 
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