APD arrests 24 in ARCH-area K2 overdoses

In August, responding to dozens of K2 calls was starting to become a daily routine for Austin-Travis County EMS.   

During a press conference Tuesday, Austin Police Lt. Kurt Thomas with the Organized Crime Division says the Travis County Medical Examiner recently confirmed a man died of ingesting the synthetic drug.

"This death and the vast majority of the K2-related EMS calls were in close proximity to the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless or the ARCH," Thomas said.

In September, Austin Police arrested 56-year-old Charles Herd and his 41-year-old wife Juanita Price.

"They were found to be in possession of 400 bags of K2 at the time of their arrest," Thomas said.

Lt. Thomas believes they were supplying much of the K2 being sold around the ARCH.  Thomas believes they were getting it from the Houston area. 

On Monday, Austin Police conducted a warrant roundup operation to arrest 42 people charged with "possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute."  Many of them they believe were connected to Charles Herd and Juanita Price.

"As of today 24 of those 42 individuals have been arrested and are in custody," Thomas said.

APD is in the process of tracking down and arresting the remaining 18.

Lt. Thomas says the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Texas has accepted Herd and Price's case for federal prosecution.  APD says they will seek additional federal indictments for those charged in the roundup.

"We are hopeful that we have disrupted the supply of this very poison that is being pushed upon a very vulnerable segment of our community," Thomas said.

Austin Police say the investigation isn't over. There's an additional dozen K2 cases they're working on. So more warrants may be on the way.

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