BIDDEFORD — Police Chief Roger Beaupre has confirmed that two men died this week from drug overdoses in the city, one on Wednesday and another on Thursday morning.

Details of the circumstances surrounding the deaths are sparse. The names of the victims were not released, and police on Thursday would neither confirm nor deny that the deaths were related to a recent influx of fentanyl-laced heroin in the city.

“We’re investigating. Were not commenting on specifics,”

Beaupre said.

A recent batch of what local purchasers believed was heroin was laced with fentanyl, a drug that the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says is 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine and 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin.

Whether fentanyl was at play in the two recent deaths is unclear, but police say they know for sure that fentanyllaced heroin was used by eight people who overdosed – and survived – last week, said Deputy Police Chief JoAnne Fisk.

Police put out the word about the deadly drug combination last week after officers and drug agents serving a search warrant at a South Street residence found a man and a woman displaying overdose symptoms.

Beaupre on Thursday said police follow up with overdose victims to encourage them to seek help for their addictions.

Two men were arrested for drug crimes in connection with the earlier overdoses.

Edward Estes, 24, was arrested on March 30 and charged with drug trafficking. Two days later, Brandon Pelletier, 25, of Biddeford, was arrested by state police in Auburn, Massachusetts, on a Biddeford warrant for drug trafficking. Massachusetts state troopers found 25 grams of heroin when they arrested Pelletier, and they charged him and a Waterboro man who was with him – Michael Tingley, 33 – with possession of heroin.

— Senior Staff Writer Tammy Wells can be contacted at 324-4444 (local call in Sanford) or 282-1535, ext. 327 or [email protected]

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