A St. Louis public housing tenant was charged Tuesday with distributing crack cocaine laced with fentanyl in a building where nine people overdosed last weekend — five of them fatally.
Chuny Ann Reed was arrested after one of the survivors told investigators they had gone to her residence in the Parkview Apartments to buy crack Saturday and overdosed almost immediately after ingesting it, federal court records show.
Investigators also uncovered surveillance video that showed one of the victims, a man identified only by the initials M.L., visiting Reed's apartment before he was found dead, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
An analysis of a pipe in M.L.'s apartment found the fentanyl-laced crack, authorities said.
"The offense involved the distribution of crack cocaine and fentanyl which led to several overdoses with at least one overdose resulting in serious bodily injury and another overdose resulting in death," the federal complaint says.
Reed has been charged with "distribution of cocaine base and fentanyl" and faces up to 20 years in prison if she is convicted, according to the court papers.
Built in 1972 in the city’s West End neighborhood, the 13-story Parkview Apartments got national attention after a spate of overdoses were reported, starting around 3 a.m. Saturday.
St. Louis police and the Drug Enforcement Administration raided the 295-unit building and another nearby building Monday in search of the suspect.
Some of the officers were seen entering the building wearing white chemical protective gear.
Police and the DEA have not responded to requests for an official account of the raid and more details about the suspect.
The raid and the arrest came just weeks after St. Louis-based DEA agents reported seizing record amounts of fentanyl and methamphetamines in raids in Missouri, Kansas and southern Illinois.
The 188 kilograms of fentanyl seized in January was more than the DEA confiscated in all of 2020 and 2019, it said in a statement.
Drugs dealers typically lace heroin with fentanyl — the drug that killed rock star Prince — to boost profits and to give the drugs more punch, often with deadly results.