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Man believed to be linked to fatal Richmond-area heroin overdoses arrested

Posted at 3:31 PM, Apr 19, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-19 15:35:05-04

RICHMOND, Va. — A man believed to be linked to several fatal Richmond-area heroin overdoses was arrested as part of a three-month-long police investigation.

Elbrendel A. Edwards, 41, had a gun and half a kilogram of heroin on him when he was arrested, according to Richmond Police. Edwards was charged with distributing heroin and gun violations.

A search of a home along the 1300 block of Evert Avenue, in Richmond, uncovered 500 gram of heroin. A search of a home along the 2700 block of Alexander Avenue, in Richmond, recovered two weapons. Law enforcement witnessed Edwards entering and exiting those homes, according to a criminal complaint.

Edwards told police he did not sell “large amounts” of heroin, only “user amounts,” according to the complaint.

Edwards, who had been previously convicted of felonies in New York, was prohibited from having a firearm.

“Richmond and Chesterfield police officers, who serve on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration Drug Task Force, began this investigation more than three months ago,” a Richmond Police spokesman said. “Law enforcement officials are confident Edwards will be linked to several fatal heroin overdoses in the Richmond metropolitan area.”

For several weeks, law enforcement and treatment clinics around Virginia have been vocal about the large number of fatal heroin-related overdoses reported in Virginia.

“This batch of heroin now on the streets is particularly deadly,” a Culpeper Sheriff’s Office spokesperson recently warned. “Investigators suspect it is stronger than normal or that it is mixed with fentanyl or both. Anyone who uses this deadly combination has a higher risk of overdosing and dying – even though the user might think they know the strength of the drug.”

Police in Richmond said the deadly heroin trend has prompted them to focus efforts on targeting heroin dealers.

“To holistically address the overdose epidemic, law enforcement throughout the Commonwealth will be conducting a National Prescription Drug Take-Back Effort from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on April 30,” the Richmond Police spokesperson said. “A local drop-off point will be located at the Southside Community Service Center, 4100 Hull Street Road.

Click here to find a Drug Take-Back location near you.