Sarasota County

Cops: Englewood man charged with murder in Carfentanil overdose death

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) - An overdose death led to a murder charge for a 38-year-old Englewood man, Sarasota detectives said Thursday.

John Michels was arrested after an investigation revealed he had given a 41-year-old man a deadly dose of carfentanil, an opioid derivative that's 10,000 times more potent than morphine.

On the morning of March 28, deputies responded to reports of a man lying face down on the side of the road. The man was pronounced dead at the scene, and detectives began investigating the circumstances that led to his death.

Over several months, detectives analyzed surveillance video from a nearby gas station that showed the victim interacting with Michels just hours before he died.

An autopsy report, released on August 1, revealed the victim died from a carfentanil overdose.

When detectives questioned Michels about his relationship with the victim, he admitted to giving him the drug before his death, according to an arrest report.

Michels was taken into custody and charged with murder. He was booked into the Sarasota County Jail where he's being held without bond.

"This arrest is directly in line with our pragmatic four-pronged approach which begins with enforcement," said Sheriff Tom Knight. "Dealers who prey on those battling substance abuse, will continue to be identified, targeted, and arrested, so that they know this criminal behavior is not tolerated in Sarasota County."

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