Spring breakers who overdosed were West Point cadets, 2 on football team

2 victims remain on ventilators, 5 others fell ill from cocaine laced with fentanyl in Wilton Manors

The focus on the prevalence of fentanyl comes to light after 7 overdoses and also the presence of Airbnb's in places like Wilton Manors.

WILTON MANORS, Fla. – Ambulances raced to a house in Wilton Manors on Thursday where Fort Lauderdale’s Fire Rescue chief said multiple people were laying in the front yard in cardiac arrest suffering from drug overdoses.

On Friday, Local 10 News confirmed that West Point cadets were part of the group of college students from New York state at the short-term rental home where cocaine laced with fentanyl caused seven people to overdose.

West Point’s Public Affairs Office sent a statement to Local 10 News: “The U.S. Military Academy is aware of the situation involving West Point cadets, which occurred Thursday night in Wilton Manors, FL. The incident is currently under investigation and no other details are available at this time.”

West Point did tell ABC News that 5 of the several spring breakers who overdosed were cadets and 2 of those were on the football team.

On Friday, crime scene tape surrounded the house at 811 NW 29th Court and remnants of a spring break party — empty beer bottles and boxes by loads of garbage — remained piled on the side of the home.

[RELATED:Extremely alarming’: Cocaine laced with fentanyl causes overdoses]

Investigators said only 4 of the students were using the drugs. Fort Lauderdale Fire Chief Stephen Gollan said cocaine laced with fentanyl is so potent that those who administered cardiopulmonary resuscitation also fell ill and had to be transported to Holy Cross Hospital. The other victims were rushed to Broward Health Medical Center.

3 students remain in the hospital with 2 in critical condition.

Residents who live near the home said they had heard loud music and people coming and going.

Another neighbor questioned if the short-term rental was properly registered. “It’s been a mess . . .The impact on neighbors . . . Imagine living next to it,” said a person who didn’t want to be identified.

Wilton Manors Commissioner Gary Resnick said problems like this will only get worse unless the state steps in. “Now we think we have some 400 vacation rentals in our city and that’s roughly 10 percent of all of our residential units.”

Investigators are now focusing on the short-term rental property and also who supplied the drugs or where the drugs came from.


About the Authors:

Andrew Perez is a South Florida native who joined the Local 10 News team in May 2014.

Michelle F. Solomon is a multi-platform producer/reporter for Local10 and is the podcast producer/reporter/host of the station's original, true-crime podcast The Florida Files and producer of Local10.com's DigiShorts.