Two men were charged Friday with first degree drug sales in connection to the recent uptick in opioid overdoses in the area.
According to the criminal complaint, the Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force have been investigating 50-year-old Robert McRunels of Bemidji and 44-year-old Demetrius Durant of Minneapolis since September.
The complaint accuses both men of running a heroin and fentanyl distribution operation.
Last Thursday, agents from the task force executed search warrants on McRunel’s Bemidji address and both his and Durant’s vehicles.
Over 150 grams of fentanyl were seized, as well as over $1,900 in cash, a measuring scale and small baggies.
The street value of the drugs is estimated to be over $25,000, and McRunel’s residence on the 900 block of Bemidji Ave. is within one block of Central Elementary School.
The Paul Bunyan Drug Task Force reports that over the last five weeks, they have responded to over 19 overdose calls with five of those being fatal.
McRunels and Durant both have extensive criminal histories and are both on parole.
They’re due back in court this Monday.