Overdose death in Wisconsin leads to arrest of Lake Oswego man

Joseph R. Caruso booking photo (Multnomah Co. Jail)

Portland police said a local man was arrested last week after being connected to a deadly Fentanyl overdose in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Joseph R. Caruso, 33, of Lake Oswego faces charges connected to the sale and distribution of illegal narcotics. Caruso was taken to the Multnomah County Jail and is scheduled to face a federal judge Monday.

According to the Portland Police Bureau, officers with the Vice Division’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Interdiction Taskforce learned of the death linked it to the Portland metro area.

Investigators determined a parcel was shipped to Green Bay from the Lake Oswego area, serving warrants last week as part of the investigation. Those searches led police to evidence of drug sales and drove them to arrest Caruso.

The HIDTA Interdiction Taskforce is made up of officers from Portland along with staff from Homeland Security Investigations and the United States Postal Inspection Service. The task force works closely with the U.S. Attorney’s Office on its cases.

Police say this is the third major case this year the task force has investigated connected to the dark web, Fentanyl and overdose deaths.

Fentanyl, extremely powerful synthetic opioid similar to morphine that can be 100 to 10,000 times more potent than morphine or heroin, has been connected to 80 overdose deaths in Oregon since 2014.

"Illegal use of opioids in our community affects everyone and is an epidemic in our country," Chief Danielle Outlaw said. "I am proud of the work that is being done by the members of the Drugs and Vice Division and our partner agencies in regard to these complex investigations, to locate those individuals selling these dangerous drugs and hold them responsible."

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