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Alexandria City High School (staff photo by James Cullum)

A suspected, non-fatal student overdose occurred at Alexandria City High School this morning — the second in less than a week.

According to the scanner, the overdose was reported around 10 a.m. Superintendent Melanie Kay-Wyatt said the suspected overdose occurred on the King Street campus.

According to a letter from Kay-Wyatt:

Dear ACPS Staff and Families,

I am writing to make you aware of a suspected school-connected, non-fatal student overdose that happened today at Alexandria City High School – King St. Campus.We want to ensure that all families and staff have access to resources and are aware of the supports that are available to students, families and staff.

In addition to our main webpage on substance abuse education and prevention, here are some additional helpful resources for youth: information on family and community resources in the City of Alexandria is also available online at the Alexandria City Public Schools website.

Another student suffered a non-fatal overdose inside the school on Tuesday, Jan. 30. The last suspected overdose at ACHS before that was on Dec. 15.

The Alexandria City High School marquee (staff photo by James Cullum)

An Alexandria City High School student suffered a suspected non-fatal overdose inside the school, Superintendent Melanie Kay-Wyatt announced to parents this afternoon.

“I am writing to make you aware of a suspected school-connected, non-fatal student overdose that happened today at Alexandria City High School — King St. Campus,” Kay-Wyatt wrote.

The last suspected overdose at ACHS was on Dec. 15.

Kay-Wyatt directed families to the Alexandria City Public Schools substance abuse education and prevention page.

According to ACPS:

For any student who wants to share any thoughts or feelings they may have at this time, there are resources in place. At ACHS, students can aleays reach out to a counselor, administrator or any trusted adult in the school if they are in need of help. Our students can also reach out to CrisiText and Crisis Link at any time, 24/7, through the contacts below:

  • Text: CONNECT to 85511
  • Call CrisisLink: 703-527-4077

We encourage all students, staff and families to please share any concerns you may have about substance abuse within our schools using our anonymous reporting system that is accessible in multiple languages,. All tips are anonymous and are responded to in a timely manner.

Additionally, a fire alarm was pulled at ACHS at around 1:45 p.m., the school was evacuated and no fire or emergency was found, according to the Fire Department scanner.

The Alexandria City High School marquee (staff photo by James Cullum)

A minor male Alexandria City High School student suffered a suspected non-fatal overdose at the King Street campus on Thursday, according to Superintendent Melanie Kay-Wyatt.

Kay-Wyatt notified parents and staff of the incident in an email at 8:41 p.m. The Alexandria Fire Department responded to a call for a possible overdose at the school a little before 9:15 a.m., according to AFD. The student was transported to the hospital.

Kay-Wyatt wrote:

In accordance with Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s Executive Order 28, which requires a divisionwide notification for all school-connected overdoses, I am writing to make you aware of a suspected school-connected, non-fatal student overdose that happened today at Alexandria City High School – King St. Campus.

An ACHS student also experienced a suspected overdose inside the High School earlier this year.

Kay-Wyatt included a fentanyl fact sheet in English, Spanish, Amharic and Arabic in her email, as well as a link to the ACPS webpage on substance abuse education and prevention. She also said ACHS students can talk to counselors and administrators if they need help, and can reach out to CrisisText and Crisis Link by texting CONNECT to 85511 or calling 703-527-4077.

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Alexandria Police lights (staff photo by James Cullum)

Alexandria man Reza Hashemi, 34, has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for selling fentanyl that lead to the death of an Alexandria woman.

Hashemi was convicted of distributing 400 grams of fentanyl in Northern Virginia. Hashemi was the suspect in one 2020 overdose of a 22-year-old man, identified as J.V., in Vienna.

“Hashemi admitted to distributing pressed counterfeit pills containing fentanyl to J.V. During the course of the investigation into J.V.’s death, law enforcement approached Hashmi and informed him of the death, but he did not agree to speak with them,” a release from the Department of Justice said. “Instead, Hashemi continued to distribute fentanyl.”

While still under investigation for the death in Vienna, Hashemi distributed additional fentanyl in Alexandria and a woman was killed.

“On May 28, 2021, in Alexandria, Hashemi distributed an approximate 1-gram quantity of powder fentanyl to J.F., which caused J.F.’s death by accidental fentanyl poisoning,” the release said. “J.F. was 26 years old at the time.”

According to the Office of the Federal Public Defender in Alexandria:

Mr. Hashemi became addicted to opioids after suffering trauma early in his life. He accepted responsibility early on in this case and continues to do so. Although we do not agree that the sentence imposed was necessary, Mr. Hashemi accepts the court’s decision and is determined to address his own addiction through the next 15 years and beyond. The government’s repeated insinuations in connection with his invocation of his right to counsel misrepresent the facts and betray an ignorance of every individual’s constitutional rights.

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Good Friday morning, Alexandria!

🌥 Today’s weather: Cloudy. Mild. High of 69 and low of 51.
🌥 Tomorrow: Cloudy. Mild. High of 72 and low of 52. Sunrise at 6:05 am and sunset at 8:04 pm.

🚨 You need to know

More gunfire was reported near the Braddock Road Metro station yesterday afternoon, prompting the Alexandria Police Department to tweet that it’s “determined” to solve recent crime issues.

“APD has taken action by installing cameras and increasing police presence in the area to ensure everyone’s safety,” APD tweeted. “No one has been hurt, but we’re determined to prevent any potential harm by keeping a police presence there until we resolve this violence.”

Thursday’s incident occurred in the same block as a number of recent shootings. The city is experiencing a crime surge, and police are fighting it by increasing patrols in high-crime areas, installing mobile camera units and hosting community events.

📈 Thursday’s most read

The following are the most-read ALXnow articles for May 4, 2023.

  1. JUST IN: Police investigating shots fired incident near Braddock Road Metro station (1834 views)
  2. Fundraiser established for family of the ACHS student who died this week (1203 views)
  3. Notes: Alexandria driver killed in hit-and-run in D.C. | ALXnow (727 views)
  4. JUST IN: Melanie Kay-Wyatt announced as Alexandria City Public Schools superintendent (516 views)

🗞 Other local coverage

📅 Upcoming events

Here is what’s going on today and this weekend in Alexandria, from our event calendar.

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Around 1:15 p.m. an Alexandria City High School student was taken to the hospital for a suspected overdose.

Fire department spokeswoman Raytevia Evans confirmed that emergency personnel responded to a possible overdose at the school.

“The call came out around 1:15 [p.m.] for a possible overdose and a request for multi-agency response,” Evans said. “It was a possible overdose.”

Evans said one person, a child, was transported to the hospital, though there’s no additional information about their status.

A student at Wakefield High School in Arlington died last week after an overdose at the school. The Alexandria Police Department warned last year that the city is seeing an increase in teen overdoses linked to pills laced with fentanyl.

Alexandria Police lights (Staff photo by James Cullum)

A 32-year-old Alexandria man is being held without bond after allegedly selling narcotics from various hotel rooms in Northern Virginia.

The series of events leading to the suspect’s arrest begins on February 20, 2022.

On that date, Alexandria Police were called to an apartment in the 5700 block of Dow Avenue for a 35-year-old man who was not breathing. The man’s 13-year-old son made the call, and led police to the bedroom, where they were unable to resuscitate him, according to a search warrant affidavit.

Police also questioned a person who was asleep in the bedroom with the man, and in the adjoining bathroom found a small plastic bag with “white powder inside, a spoon with baked white powder residue and a lighter,” according to the search warrant affidavit. The person told police that they bought the schedule I/II narcotics from the suspect and brought the drugs back to the apartment.

APD then discovered that the suspect’s fiancé died of a drug-related overdose on March 23, 2021, in Arlington County.

“During the investigation, (the suspect) admitted to obtaining the narcotics from an individual in Prince George’s County and sharing them with his fiancé before her overdose,” police said in the search warrant affidavit.

Police conducted a sting operation in March in Fairfax County, and the suspect drove to the meet in a rental car and sold an unspecified amount of fentanyl to a police informant. The suspect’s rental car was found in the parking lot of a Motel Six in Dumphries on March 23, and then at a Days Inn on South Bragg Street in Alexandria on March 29.

On March 30, APD conducted a search of the suspect’s hotel room in Alexandria and found:

  • Multiple baggies of cocaine
  • Multiple baggies of suspected fentanyl
  • $529 in cash
  • A vise press with suspected narcotics
  • Multiple digital scales
  • Packaging and cutting materials
  • Suspected MDMA pills
  • Multiple cell phones

The suspect was arrested on March 30, charged with posession with intent to distribute schedule I/II narcotics (a felony) and then released on bond in May.

On June 14, the suspect met with his pretrial officer at the Alexandria jail, and was afterward seen getting into a vehicle with two other people and driving away. The suspect, who has a suspended driver’s license, was pulled over by police after parking for a long period in a nearby convenience store parking garage. Inside of the suspect’s vehicle, police found multiple baggies of a white powdery substance hidden in the roof lining, and then another plastic baggie with white powder in the  pocket of the back passenger seat, according to the search warrant affidavit.

In the backseat, the passenger told police that he’d met the suspect five days before, and that he had a drug problem and was trying to buy narcotics from the suspect, police said in the search warrant affidavit. Neither of the passengers were arrested, and the suspect said that the only items in the car that belonged to him were a bank card and his clothes, that he’d just left a pretrial meeting at the jail and was “going to sign up for treatment at a Fairfax substance abuse clinic shortly,” police said in the search warrant affidavit.

“When advised that members of the Vice/Narcotics Unit had observed him use narcotics inside a parking garage and found discarded drug paraphernalia and his pretrial officer’s business card near the parking spot the vehicle had occupied, (the suspect) advised he didn’t realiz we had been watching him for such a long period of time,” police said in the search warrant affidavit.

The suspect has been held without bond since the June 14 incident, although that case was dismissed for want of admissible evidence.

On July 13, the suspect’s March 30 arrest was certified to the grand jury as a felony possession with intent to distribute charge. He faces indictment in August, and between five and 40 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.

In May, Alexandria warned of a spike in fentanyl-related opioid overdoses. There were 30 opioid overdoses in the first five months of 2022, with two confirmed fentanyl overdoses.

According to the City:

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).

The City also encourages residents to dispose of expired or unneeded medications.  Several medication disposal boxes are located throughout the City.

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Updated at 5:30 p.m. On April 19, at 6:30 p.m., a social worker at Inova Fairfax Hospital contacted the Child Protective Services hotline.

The social worker reported that a three-year-old girl was overdosing and was brought to the hospital emergency room by her mother in a Lyft transport, according to a police search warrant affidavit.

“By the time (the child and her mother) arrived at the hospital, the child was in full cardiac arrest,” police said in a search warrant affidavit. “The child was treated with Narcan and immediately reacted.”

Narcan is a prescription medicine that can reverse an opioid overdose through injection or intranasal mist.

Police later found the mother and daughter in the hospital’s pediatric unit. The mother told police that she is homeless was staying at a friend’s house. She told police that her child picked up a cup and put it to her lips, and that soon after she became increasingly lethargic, according to a search warrant affidavit.

The woman also reportedly told the social worker that she did not know what was inside the cup. When police asked the mother where she was when the incident occurred, she said that she didn’t know the address. She also said that her friend’s name is Tiffany.

The child was removed from her mother during the investigation and placed in the custody of one of the father’s cousins, according to the search warrant affidavit.

Over the next several days, the social worker spoke with the child’s father, who told her that his ex (the mother of the child) confided that she “made up Tiffany’s name and that she was at another friend’s house,” according to the search warrant affidavit.

“[The mother] is purposely not telling us where she was when the incident occurred,” police said in the search warrant affidavit.

The cousin told police that the child reported she and her mother were, in fact, at another cousin’s house when the incident occurred, that the mother of the child has always struggled with drugs, and that “her preference is Percocet laced with Fentanyl,” police said in the search warrant affidavit.

“[The cousin] stated that even though [the mother] knew what was going on with [the child], she didn’t tell the medical staff when she arrived at the hospital. She knew that [her child] had drugs in her system and stayed quiet,” police said in the search warrant affidavit.

No arrests have been made in connection to this incident, and APD could not be reached for comment.

Anyone who suspects that a child is being abused or neglected should call the city’s CPS hotline at 703-746-5800, or the Virginia hotline at 1-800-552-7096. If a child is in immediate danger, call 911 for police assistance.

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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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Police car lights (file photo)

On the 5500 block of Seminary Road yesterday morning (Tuesday), right along the line between Alexandria and Fairfax, the discovery of a woman unconscious on the sidewalk led to the rescue of six adults unconscious after overdosing on what is suspected to be fentanyl-laced cocaine.

Police said officers responded at 3 a.m. to an apartment on Seminary Road, which a Fairfax County Police Department spokesperson said occurred just inside the Fairfax border.

“When officers arrived, they discovered one woman unconscious on the sidewalk and immediately rendered aid,” the Fairfax Police Department said. “As additional officers arrived, four men and a woman were found unconscious inside the apartment. Officers and Fire and Rescue personnel administered Narcan to all six individuals. All six adults, ranging from 23 to 35 years of age, were taken to local hospitals for further treatment and four remain hospitalized.”

Police said the victims were ingested an unknown narcotic in the apartment, with detectives discovering a white, powdery substance at the scene. The narcotics will be sent to the Virginia Department of Forensic Science for further analysis, police said. An email from the City of Alexandria after the overdoses said the substance was believed to be fentanyl-laced cocaine.

“Please take steps to protect yourself and others who may be in possession of cocaine purchased in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area,” the city said. “The nasal spray Narcan (also known as Naloxone) can save the life of someone who is overdosing from substances containing opioids, if given in time, and test strips can detect dangerous fentanyl-laced drugs before they are used. Obtain free Narcan and fentanyl test strips by emailing your name and address to [email protected] to have one or both mailed to you. Anyone who assists a person in need by administering Narcan is protected by the Good Samaritan Law from liability while rendering aid.”

The Fairfax County Police Department noted that symptoms of an overdose include:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Pinpoint pupils
  • Snore-like gurgling sounds
  • Breathing is low, shallow or erratic
  • Bluish purple, or ashen skin color
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Fingernails turn blue or close to black

Last year in Alexandria there were an estimated 12 fatal overdoses and 92 non-fatal overdoses.

“If you or someone you know needs help to overcome drug dependence, please call the Community Services Board at Merrifield Center at 703-573-5679 to help find appropriate treatment and recovery services,” the Fairfax Police Department said. “Walk-ins are also welcome Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.”

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