Faribault Police Chief Andy Bohlen announced around noon on Tuesday officers were dispatched to a residence in the 100 block of 9th Avenue Southwest on a reported medical. Upon arrival according to the news release officers located a 38 year old unresponsive adult male showing signs of a possible overdose.  Life-saving efforts by officers and Faribault Rescue were unsuccessful.  CPR was executed and Narcan administered but they were unable to revive the man.

Faribault investigators and agents with the Cannon River Drug and Violent Offenders Task Force began searching for possible connections to heroin distributors in the area.  The news release states, "after obtaining evidence in the investigation the task force focused on a local supplier of heroin, and with assistance from the South Central Drug Investigation Unit were able to locate the suspect identified as 27 year old Anthony Michael Fugalli of Faribault."

"The task force took Fugalli into custody about 10:00 p.m. approximately ten hours after the investigation into the overdose began.  Fugalli was arrested on a charge of first degree sales and jailed."

According to Chief Bohlen's news release the Faribault man, "Confessed to selling heroin and also stated he warned the victim that the drug may contain fentanyl."

The Faribault Police Chief states,"The Cannon River Drug and Violent Offender Task Force will work with the Rice County Attorney's office to put together a possible homicide case along with multiple felony drug charges as the investigation is ongoing.  Agents are waiting on confirmation on all toxicology tests and forensics tests to compile all related evidence."

Chief Bohlen says, "The quick efforts to take this poison peddling drug dealer into custody was oustanding.  To have a drug dealer in custody only hours after an overdose death and build a solid case is extremely rare.  Removing Fugalli from the community was truly great work."

The news release goes on to say, "Fentanyl and other derivatives of fentanyl are extremely dangerous and law enforcement across Minnesota is seeing more overdose deaths as heroin is being cut with deadly synthetic opioid which is 50-100 times more potent than morphine.  The public should be warned that using heroin alone is extremely dangerous but purchasing the drug from an unknown source that may be cutting it with fentanyl can often be deadly."

Cannon River Drug and Violent Offender Task Force Commander Dave Dillon says, "The above and beyond coordinated efforts with all law enforcement involved was incredible.  I urge anyone with additional information regarding suspected heroin overdoses or information of those supplying heroin in our community to contact the Cannon River Drug and Violent Offender Task Force."

Faribault Police Station. Archived photo by Gordy Kosfeld