Suspect in overdose deaths demands hearing for manslaughter charges
August 30, 2017
EAGLE – A Florida man facing manslaughter charges for his alleged part in two overdose deaths demanded that prosecutors show they have enough proof to send him to trial.
Attorneys for Samuel Brunelus, 23, demanded a preliminary hearing during a court appearance Tuesday. His attorneys, Daniel Deter of Denver and Rick Douglas from Florida, said they also will argue that Brunelus' $50,000 bond be reduced during his Oct. 3 preliminary hearing.
Brunelus was arrested in Deerfield, Florida, after Eagle County sheriff's detectives said they had linked him to two overdose deaths, which occurred March 24 in the Roaring Fork Valley area of Eagle County.
Michael Martinez, 26, and Camillo Sanchez, 30, were found dead by a roommate in a Blue Lake home.
Eagle County sheriff's investigators seized nine clear capsules from the scene. A Colorado Bureau of Investigation analysis found that each capsule contained an off-white powder that turned out to be a mixture of heroin and carfentanil, the Eagle County Sheriff's Office said.
Detectives were able to link Brunelus to the deaths and the capsules, the Sheriff's Office said.
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Brunelus faces two counts of manslaughter, Class 4 felonies, and distribution of a schedule II controlled substance, a Class 2 drug felony.
Carfentanil is a synthetic opioid powerful enough to tranquilize elephants. It is surfacing in more communities and is often disguised as heroin, said DEA acting administrator Chuck Rosenberg.
It's not prevalent in Eagle County yet, Eagle County Sheriff James van Beek said.
Local law enforcement and other first responders have started carrying Narcan, which temporarily counteracts opioids in people, van Beek said.
Carfentanil and other fentanyl-related compounds can come in several forms, including powder, blotter paper, tablets and spray. They can be absorbed easily through the skin or accidentally inhaled.
If you think you have encountered it, call the police, van Beek said.
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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