West Point cadets remain on ventilators after consuming fentanyl-laced cocaine in Broward

Man, 21, had cell phone used to sell fentanyl-laced cocaine to spring breakers

A man is facing charges after undercover police officers accused him of selling the fentany-laced cocaine that caused 7 overdoses on Thursday in Wilton Manors.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Detectives are still investigating how fentanyl-laced cocaine made it into the hands of spring breakers from New York who remained dependent on intensive care ventilators on Sunday in Broward County.

The tragedy on Thursday at a rental home in Wilton Manors included four cadets from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Four of the seven hospitalized voluntarily ingested the cocaine; the other three came into contact with it when they performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation, according to Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue.

Six were hospitalized first, and the seventh felt ill later. Detectives arrested Axel Giovany Casseus, 21, of Lauderhill, on Friday and he appeared in Broward County court on Saturday.

According to the arrest report, detectives “were able to ascertain the cellphone number of the alleged dealer who supplied the narcotics to the victims” and Casseus was in possession of the “cellphone used to communicate with the undercover detective and overdose victim.”

Detectives corroborated their suspicions during an undercover operation that involved a $1,000 deal with Casseus at a hotel parking lot in Fort Lauderdale, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office arrest report. Deputies arrested Casseus in Hollywood.

Casseus is facing a cocaine trafficking charge and a judge set his bond at $50,000. He remained at the Broward Main Jail on Sunday on a pending 2020 case on a charge of burglary of an unoccupied dwelling. Prosecutors haven’t charged him in connection with the drug overdoses in Wilton Manors.

According to Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue, updates on the spring breakers’ health conditions were not available on Sunday after their families requested privacy.

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Local 10 News Assignment Desk Editor Aura Martinez contributed to this report.


About the Authors:

Parker Branton joined Local 10 News in January 2019 as a reporter. He was born and raised in Rome, Georgia, but now loves living on the sunny beaches of South Florida.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.