Authorities identify 3 who died in suspected mass overdose

Carthage, Mo. man has died
Authorities identify 3 who died in suspected mass overdose
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Authorities have released the names of three men who died in an apparent mass drug overdose at a Pittsburgh apartment complex that left four other men hospitalized.

UPDATE: Police say a man has been arrested on suspicion of providing a white powdery substance tainted with fentanyl at an after-party in Pittsburgh, leading to the death of three men.

Pittsburgh Public Safety spokesman Chris Togneri says Peter Rene Sanchez Montalvo was arrested Monday on federal charges of distributing a controlled substance resulting in death and serious bodily injury.

Authorities say Montalvo goes by the name Carlos. No information on an attorney for him was available.

Togneri says he had been at a bar earlier and invited some patrons to an after-party at an apartment where he’d been staying.

Federal prosecutors say the partygoers believed the white substance was cocaine. The medical examiner’s office has initially determined it contained the powerful opioid fentanyl.

It’s unclear who alerted emergency authorities, who arrived at the building to find several people dead or in need of medical help.


Police say the men initially went to a venue together, then headed to the apartment Sunday where they used narcotics at the same time and in the same place. Authorities haven’t specified which drug or combination of drugs they took. They also haven’t said where the men went together before returning to use the drugs, although authorities say all the victims were wearing orange paper wrist bands.

The Pittsburgh Department of Public Safety said the overdose deaths were not a case of a tainted drug being distributed in a large volume where it could have affected even more people. It appeared to have been isolated to a single location, but police said they are concerned about a tainted, potentially deadly batch of drugs in the community.

Three men – 32-year-old Rubiel Clemente-Martinez, of Columbus, Ohio; 38-year-old Josue Soberal Serrano, of Carthage, Mo., and 32-year-old Joel Pecina, 32, of Coraopolis – were pronounced dead at the scene.

One man remained hospitalized Monday in critical condition, while three others were in stable condition.

Five of the victims were found in an apartment. Clemente-Martinez was found one in an elevator outside the apartment and another person was found on the street, authorities say.

The apartment complex management said the victims were not tenants of the building, but knew someone who lived there.


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