After three people overdosed Thursday afternoon, local law enforcement leaders are warning about a possible bad batch of heroin making its way through the Capital Region.
Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple says three individuals are lucky to be alive after overdosing on heroin while driving through the western portion of the county. Apple says deputies received a 911 call at around 4 p.m., reporting that a car had stopped in middle of State Route 156 in the town of Berne.
First responders found three unconscious individuals inside the car, who appeared to have suffered heroin overdoses. Apple says the male driver, Vincent Oshana, and female passenger in the back seat each had a faint pulse, while the male passenger in the back seat had no pulse.
Each were revived with naloxone and the male passenger was given CPR. All three are expected to recover. Apple says it is unusual for three people to overdose at the same time unless they have taken a bad batch of drugs.
"You worry about what these folks are putting in there,” Apple said on Friday afternoon. “When you see three people overdose, you start to raise your eyebrows about, 'oh boy, I hope we don't have a hot batch coming through the area,' because it usually leaves a lot of carnage."
Oshana has been charged with one count of driving with his ability impaired by drugs.
While Apple says he is unaware of any other recent overdoses in the region, his staff is checking with other counties to explore whether there may be a bad batch. He says it is unclear if the drugs came from Greene County, where the three individuals are from, or in Albany County, where they were found.
Apple also says it appears these overdoses had no relation to an incident that occurred further south in Sullivan County, where deputies confiscated marijuana laced with the dangerous drug fentanyl earlier in the week at a Walmart parking lot. The sheriff in that county says it was the first time marijuana was found laced with the potentially lethal opioid in the region.
Apple says marijuana-laced fentanyl has not been seen in Albany County yet, but believes it is concerning, given the large amount of people who use marijuana. He says drug dealers in other places have been known to secretly lace marijuana with heroin or fentanyl in hopes of getting them hooked on those drugs, leading to potentially deadly consequences.
"Who knows what it leads to when you're tricked and you're duped into smoking it? If they knew what they were smoking, that is sad. If they didn't, boy, that could be a life-ending last high that you get," Apple said.
The fentanyl-laced marijuana is not believed to have led to any overdoses in Sullivan County.