BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — He lost his younger brother to an overdose. But through the pain, a former Brevard cop, whose job was to combat drugs, is sharing his brother’s story.
- Greg Richter's brother Tim died of a drug overdose
- Friend helped Richter turn tragedy into project addressing drug addiction
- Learn more about the documentary Coming Clean
"It was a normal day, and actually I was getting ready to leave Afghanistan," says Greg Richter, who was on his latest tour of duty as a government security contractor when he got the call June 2, 2019.
"That's when I picked up the phone and found out my brother had passed away, the next three days were a blur,” Richter told Spectrum News.
His 29-year-old brother Tim had died of a drug overdose. He had enough Fentanyl in his system to kill 60 people.
"It was kind of around May he went distant of everything," Richter said.
Richter made his way back to Brevard County — a place he's known all his life, and where for 15 years, he served as a sheriff's deputy trying to get drugs off the streets.
Somewhere, his brother lost his way to drugs.
"I wish I had caught it then," he says.
Richter wanted revenge, but a good friend and longtime deputy Steve Fernez suggested they turn this tragedy into something positive — a documentary on drug addiction.
Coming Clean debuted at a Brevard-area theatre in January.
The free showing brought out hundreds. A second showing was played to another packed house.
Richter told us he didn't want it to be just about what happened to his brother. The documentary also features a recovering addict turned counselor, a trauma therapist, and addiction specialists.
The group wants Coming Clean to reach as far as possible and send a message to those struggling with the demons of addiction.
"There's hope out there," Richter said. "There's a way to get clean. I just want one person's life saved from it."
Just Tuesday, the Florida Department of Health announced a $6 million grant to help 14 counties fight drug overdoses and opioid abuse. Brevard, Lake, Marion and Volusia counties are included.