Suspect in Eagle County carfentanil overdose deaths will have preliminary hearing Oct. 3
August 29, 2017
EAGLE — A Florida man facing manslaughter charges for his alleged part in two overdose deaths demanded that prosecutors show they have enough proof to send him to trial.
Attorneys for Samuel Brunelus, 23, demanded a preliminary hearing during a court appearance Tuesday. His attorneys, Daniel Deter, of Denver, and Rick Douglas, from Florida, said they will also argue that Brunelus' $50,000 bond be reduced during his Oct. 3 preliminary hearing.
Brunelus was arrested in Deerfield, Florida, after Eagle County Sheriff's detectives said they had linked him to two overdose deaths March 24 in the Roaring Fork Valley area of Eagle County.
Michael Martinez, 26, and Camillo Sanchez, 30, were found dead by a roommate in a Blue Lake home.
Eagle County Sheriff's investigators seized nine clear capsules from the scene. A Colorado Bureau of Investigation analysis found that each capsule contained an off-white powder that turned out to be a mixture of heroin and carfentanil, said the Eagle County Sheriff's Office.
Detectives were able to link Brunelus to the deaths and the capsules, the Sheriff's Office said.
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Brunelus faces two counts of manslaughter, Class 4 felonies and distribution of a Schedule II controlled substance, a Class 2 drug felony.
Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid powerful enough to tranquilize elephants. It is surfacing in more and more communities and is often disguised as heroin, said Drug Enforcement Administration Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg.
It's not prevalent in Eagle County — yet, said Eagle County Sheriff James van Beek.
Local law enforcement and other first responders have started carrying Narcan, which temporarily counteracts opioids like carfentanil in people, van Beek said.
Carfentanil and other fentanyl-related compounds can come in several forms, including powder, blotter paper, tablets and spray. They can be absorbed easily through the skin or accidentally inhaled.
If you think you have encountered carfentanil, call the police, van Beek said.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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