News Release #: 17-119
Deputies responded to a halfway house in the 4600 block of School Avenue in Sarasota, on January 29, for a heroin overdose. When they arrived, deputies and paramedics administered the opioid-reversal medication naloxone, and transported the patient to the hospital where he recovered. During an interview with detectives, the patient disclosed that he purchased heroin from Michael Bennett, DOB 07/11/78, of 4040 Proctor Road, Sarasota. Through text messages recovered on the patient’s phone, Bennett warned him to slowly inject only a small amount of the heroin because it was actually Carfentanil, an opioid 10,000 times more potent than morphine. Detectives determined that Bennett had knowledge of the strength of the drug and without the assistance of first responders, the patient would have likely died from the overdose.
Bennett was arrested Thursday and charged with a single count of Culpable Negligence, a misdemeanor. He was released on $500 bond. Bennett is a prolific offender with dozens of prior arrests in Sarasota County for crimes including Trafficking in Hydrocodone, Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Sell, Aggravated Battery, and Aggravated Assault. The investigation is ongoing.