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Recently confiscated small, round, pale blue counterfeit pill with tin used for inhalation, image courtesy Alexandria Police Department

The Alexandria Police Department and city officials are warning locals about an uptick in overdoses linked to pills laced with fentanyl.

“City of Alexandria officials warn the community about a recent spike in suspected fentanyl-related overdoses, especially in school-aged youth who report using a ‘little blue pill’ they believed was Percocet,” the city said in a release. “Illicit drugs are often laced with fentanyl, an inexpensive substitute that is up to 100 times more potent than morphine and can be deadly.”

Police said two juveniles died of an overdose in a neighboring jurisdiction from the same type of pill.

“Most juvenile cases reported involved either smoking or ingesting a ‘blue pill’ that is being sold as a Percocet pill,” said Captain Monica Lisle, commander of the Criminal Investigations Division at the Alexandria Police Department, in the release. “There were two reported overdose deaths of juveniles last week in a neighboring jurisdiction involving this same type of pill, so we are doing all we can to warn youth and other community members of the resources available to combat this epidemic. We are asking for the public’s help in understanding the prevalence of opioid overdoses, how they can be prevented, and to speak with youth regarding the dangers of all illicit drugs, particularly these ‘little blue pills’.”

The Alexandria School Board is set to decide Thursday (May 5) on carrying Nalaxone, or Narcan, as an emergency medication to be given to students in the event of an opiate overdose.

The warning comes after four were arrested in Prince William County with fentanyl-laced Percocet pills and as Alexandria City Public Schools is considering adding overdose treatment drug Narcan to schools.

“Between April 1 and May 1, twelve opioid overdoses were reported in the City of Alexandria, six of which occurred in persons under the age of 17,” the city said. “None of these overdoses resulted in a fatality and many of the victims were revived by first responders equipped with Narcan, an opioid overdose reversal medication. Since the start of 2022, 30 opioid overdoses have been reported in Alexandria. Of these, two people died in January of confirmed fentanyl overdoses.”

Police said the counterfeit pills carry an imprint of a capital M to mimic an authentic M30 tablet.

According to the release:

The City has resources available to help combat the opioid epidemic, including Narcan, a safe, easy-to-administer nasal spray that is available in Virginia without a prescription. Narcan can be obtained at no charge from the Alexandria Opioid Work Group’s Mail Out program by emailing [email protected] and at the Alexandria Health Department (4480 King St.). Narcan is also available at most pharmacies throughout Alexandria.

For life-threatening situations, call 9-1-1 immediately. If you have information regarding the illegal sale of opioids or other drugs, please call the Alexandria Police Department at 703.746.6277.

If you or someone you care about needs help, please call 703.746.3400 to speak with staff at the Department of Community and Human Services. Treatment for opioid use can be accessed by calling the City’s Opioid Treatment Program intake line at 703.746.3610 and detox services can be accessed by calling 703.746.3636. Additional treatment options can be found at samhsa.gov or by calling 800.662.HELP (4357).

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Alexandria City Public Schools will likely soon begin carrying Nalaxone, or Narcan, as an emergency medication to be given to students if they are overdosing on opiates.

If approved by the School Board on May 5 (Thursday), school nurses or anyone “acting on behalf of the School Board who has completed a training program may possess and administer naloxone or other opioid antagonist for overdose reversal,” according to a staff report.

The policy would go into effect immediately if approved by the Board.

The City began offering free Narcan spray and fentanyl test strips years ago as the number of opioid-related overdoses was on the rise. Residents can get access to Narcan for free by mail, and it is also available without a prescription at pharmacies.

“The drug Naloxone, also known as Narcan, can save the life of someone who is experiencing an opioid overdose, if given in time,” the city said.

Residents can get Narcan by mail by emailing their name and address to [email protected] or picking up a dose of the nasal spray by calling the Alexandria Health Department at 703-746-4888 or the City’s Opioid Response Coordinator at 703-746-3326.

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A 31-year-old Prince William County woman, who claimed to be five months pregnant, was arrested last month for drug possession in Old Town.

At around 10:40 p.m. on (Friday) March 25, the woman was parked with a friend in a silver Kia in the unit block of Oronoco Street, which is near Founders Park in Old Town. The Kia had temporary registration plates from Texas, and the woman admitted to an Alexandria Police officer that she’d been drinking and was 20 weeks pregnant, according to a search warrant affidavit.

The driver was told that her car was going to be impounded since it was unregistered, and she and her friend were asked to get out of the car.

Police found MDMA/ecstasy in powder form inside the car, and when asked about it the suspect said it was cigarette ash mixed with “Molly.” The driver told police that she had recently ingested cocaine, and met up with an old friend from high school in a parking lot in the city to pick up the MDMA because she needed something to relax her that was stronger than alcohol, according to a search warrant.

A field test of the drug confirmed that it was MDMA.

“(The suspect) stated she had previously used cocaine before and needed something stronger since the father of her unborn child told her that he didn’t want her to have the baby,” police said in the warrant. “(The suspect) states that this was her second pregnancy, and she had a miscarriage on her first child a few years ago.”

The driver was charged with possession of Schedule I/II drugs, and was released from the Alexandria jail shortly after her arrest on a $1,000 unsecured bond. She goes to court for the offense on June 14. Her passenger was not charged.

Alexandria offers substance abuse services for City of Alexandria residents age 18 and older. More information is available online or by calling 703-746-3535. Walk-in appointments are available Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-12:30 p.m. at Alexandria Community Services Board, 720 North Saint Asaph Street.

Via Google Maps

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A 35-year-old Richmond man faces serious charges after allegedly crashing a car into a pole in the 1000 block of Janneys Lane.

The incident occurred at around 10:45 p.m. on April 2 (Saturday), and the driver was found hiding from police two blocks away. The man told police that he was hiding because he was scared, according to a search warrant affidavit.

After denying that he took any alcohol or drugs, the man was searched and police seized several baggies with small, crystal shaped rocks, several syringes and plastic or glass pipes, according to a search warrant affidavit. The man was charged with hit and run, driving without a license, possession of Schedule I/II drugs, possession of Schedule III drugs and driving while intoxicated.

The suspect was released on April 4 on $7,000 unsecured bond and goes to court on April 18.

Via Google Maps

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Alexandria Police are still investigating a February 22 crash on Duke Street that resulted in the death of a driver and multiple injuries. No one has been arrested in connection to the crash, even though one of the drivers involved was found to be in possession of cocaine and  number of other suspected drugs.

“The crash resulted in one fatality, one critical injury, one serious injury, and two minor injuries,” APD said in a release. “Preliminary investigation suggests speed may have been a contributing factor in this incident.”

Five vehicles were involved in the crash, which occurred at around at around 11:50 p.m. One of the vehicles was a silver Toyota Rav4 with Florida plates, and under the driver’s seat police found a bag containing 92 grams of “white powder and white rock-like substances” which tested positive for cocaine, according to a search warrant.

Police also found “3.4 grams of a tan powder believed to be heroin, suspected PCP, three unknown pills and 0.7 grams of suspected marijuana,” according to the warrant.

Field tests for the suspected heroin and PCP were inconclusive and all of the substances have been sent to the Virginia Department of Forensic Science, according to the warrant.

“Currently no one has been charged with any crimes in connection to this incident,” APD Public Information Officer Marcel Bassett told ALXnow. “This investigation is still ongoing and will be thorough to ensure all parties involved are given their due process.”

Anyone with information on the crash is asked to call Officer Wesley Vitale at 703-746-6178, email [email protected] or call APD’s non-emergency number at 703-746-4444. Callers can remain anonymous.

Tips can be anonymous.

Map via Google Maps

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An 18-year-old Alexandria man was arrested on gun and drug charges after backing his car against a police cruiser and allegedly attempting to drive away.

The incident occurred in the unit block of Oronoco Street near the Alexandria waterfront on Wednesday, Feb. 16.

Police found the suspect’s car parked in a no parking zone. While the investigating officer was advising dispatch of the location and description of the vehicle, the driver “reversed his vehicle,  hit my unoccupied cruiser, and attempted to leave the area in an attempt to avoid police interaction,” police said in a search warrant affidavit.

Police also found that the driver is unlicensed, and had 1.1 ounces of marijuana with him, a digital scale and a black and gray loaded Glock 22 handgun.

The driver was charged with carrying a concealed weapon, possessing Schedule I/II drugs while possessing a firearm, driving without a license and failure to pay full attention while operating a vehicle. He was released on $3,000 bond on Feb. 17 and goes to court on March 30.

Via Google Maps

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Two Alexandria men were arrested last month for drug possession and allegedly attempting to flee from police in the Landmark area.

The suspects were arrested after getting pulled over in the 6100 block of Edsall Road on Saturday, Jan. 8.

Police found a digital scale with white powder residue in plain view in the driver’s side door, and then found 3.5 grams of suspected marijuana and an unspecified amount of suspected cocaine in the center console, according to a search warrant.

Police also found plastic baggies with small amounts of marijuana inside a black and white Air Jordan shoe box on the floor of the front passenger’s seat.

The 20-year-old driver, a Fairfax County man, was transferred to another jurisdiction and charged with identity fraud to avoid arrest/impede investigation, fleeing from law enforcement, assault and battery and failure to appear in court. He was arrested carrying nearly $2,000 in cash.

The 23-year-old passenger, an Alexandria man, was released on $50 bond that same day and the charges against him were dropped.

Via Google Maps

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A 26-year-old Alexandria man faces drug and trespassing charges after his mother asked police to search her home in the northeast section of the city.

The man was arrested on Sunday, Dec. 5, after a series of events that began the previous night.

On Sunday afternoon, the suspect’s ex-girlfriend made a walk-in confession to burglary and destruction of property to the Fairfax County Police Department. The woman told police that she entered the home between 11 p.m. and 2 a.m., and she said that she went after her ex refused her request to pick up some of her belongings, according to a search warrant.

The woman told police that the front door of the home was unlocked, and that she accidentally shattered a bathroom sink with a soap dispense, according to the warrant. The woman then walked into the living room, where she told police she saw suspected cocaine on a table.

The woman, who was not arrested or charged, also admitted to throwing a dart and shattering a living room window.

Police contacted the homeowner, the suspect’s mother, and she told police that she asked her son to leave the house a week before the incident. Police then observed someone in the home, and the suspect’s mother said that the home should be empty and asked them to conduct a search.

The man was arrested and released the same day on a $1,500 bond and was charged with trespassing and possession of Schedule I/II drugs. He goes to court on Jan. 28.

Via Google Maps

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(Updated 8 p.m.) Alexandria Police are investigating alleged drug possession and distribution at Episcopal High School, one of the most exclusive private boarding schools in the country.

On Dec. 8, police responded to a narcotics complaint at Episcopal and met with the school’s attorney, according to a search warrant affidavit. The officer was told that a week prior, on Dec. 1, two students were found to be allegedly under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Both students were then “immediately withdrawn” from the school by their families, according to the affidavit.

The school’s attorney then told police that one of the suspected students, who turned 18 on Dec. 10, received a number of packages with suspected drugs and that the packages were in the school mailroom.

“The parcels were retrieved and one of the parcels appeared to already be damaged and open,” police said in the search warrant. “Upon looking inside, the administrator believed the contents were illegal narcotics. Based upon the open parcel containing suspected illegal narcotics, the administrator and additional witnesses opened the other parcels and discovered additional suspected narcotics.”

Police found a number of U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail envelopes addressed to the 18-year-old at the school and containing the following:

  • 20 grams of suspected Psilocybin mushrooms
  • 26 suspected Xanax pills and 1.2 grams of suspected methamphetamine
  • 1.3 grams of suspected cocaine
  • Five suspected Ecstasy pills

Episcopal’s attorney has not returned ALXnow’s requests for comment, and no arrests have been made.

More than 450 male and female students attend the 182-year-old private boarding school in the fenced 130-acre property at 1200 North Quaker Lane.

Famous alumni include former U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), investor Julian Robertson, Jr., and video game designer Will Wright.

Episcopal went on winter break on Dec. 17, and students will return to classes on Jan. 3.

Via Episcopal High School/Facebook

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A 19-year-old Alexandria man faces multiple charges for allegedly driving a van without a license, providing a false name to police and drug possession.

Police observed the suspect allegedly driving the wrong way down the 3800 block of Old Dominion Boulevard in the city’s Arlandria neighborhood on Sunday, Dec. 5.

Police used emergency lights to get the suspect to pull over, and he parked illegally and then got out of the van, according to a search warrant affidavit.

Police then said the suspect provided a false name and date of birth. The man told police that his girlfriend owned the car and that he was dropping off his cousin, who sat in the front passenger seat. The suspect had no identification and admitted to not having a driver’s license. He then left the vehicle before police could get more information.

Police called in a wrecker to tow the van to the city’s impound lot, and during an inventory search found 20 to 40 pills of suspected oxycodone in a plastic baggie, a smoking apparatus made from a water bottle and burned pieces of aluminum foil.

The suspect was arrested and charged with driving without a license, driving on the wrong side of the street, possession of a Schedule II controlled substance and identity theft. He goes to court on Jan. 14, 2022.

Via Google Maps

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