Man who sold fentanyl-laced drugs to West Point cadets sentenced to 9 years in prison
Broward County, Florida – A man has been sentenced to nine years in prison for his role in the March 2022 overdose incident that hospitalized six young men and one woman in Wilton Manors.
Axel Giovany Casseus, who had been charged with cocaine trafficking, pleaded guilty in December. The Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue officials reported that four of the patients had taken a substance believed to be cocaine that was laced with fentanyl. When their two friends tried to give them CPR, they were exposed to the drug as well.
Paramedics found multiple men in cardiac arrest in the front yard of the vacation rental home, and some of the patients were able to regain a heartbeat after being given Narcan, an overdose drug, but four were still in respiratory arrest when they were transported to the hospitals. One year after the overdose incident, Casseus was given the sentence and will receive credit for time served.
Casseus’ drug was reportedly the cause of the overdoses among the group of West Point cadets who were staying at the vacation rental home. Four of the cadets were transported to the hospital, one of whom was an Army football player.
Investigators discovered the phone number for the dealer who sold the drugs to the spring breakers and used the number to negotiate a drug deal with Casseus. Undercover officers then met with Casseus and he sold them 43 grams of suspected cocaine in exchange for $1,000. Officials said that the phone used to communicate with the spring breakers was found in Casseus’ possession and he admitted to participating in the transaction.
The incident highlights the dangers of fentanyl-laced drugs and the importance of being vigilant when purchasing or using illicit substances. Lacing drugs with fentanyl can be deadly, as it is a powerful opioid that is much stronger than morphine or heroin.
The incident also underscores the critical role played by first responders in saving lives during drug overdoses. With the right tools and training, they can quickly administer Narcan and perform other life-saving measures to stabilize patients until they can receive further medical care.