GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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February 22, 2011

Death of man, 27, is city's third overdose in 7 days

A 27-year-old man was pronounced dead at his home Monday afternoon in what police are calling a drug overdose — the third confirmed overdose death in Gloucester within just the last week.

Police were called to Alpine Court at 4 p.m. Monday after police received a call reporting an unattended death.

Gloucester police detectives, along with a state police Crime Prevention and Control unit, responded to the incident, and, according to police reports, pinpointed the cause of death as a drug overdose. The CPAC unit is assigned to the Essex County District Attorney's office to investigate homicides, violent crime and organized drug activity.

According to city police, the body is currently in the hands of the state medical examiners office in Boston, where it will undergo an autopsy.

Monday's death follows the overdose deaths of a 26-year-old Gloucester man on Cleveland Street last Thursday and a 52-year-old man on Taylor Street on Feb. 15.

Police have not, in any of the cases, confirmed what types of drugs were involved in the deaths.

However, the rash of deaths also comes a little more than a month after the confirmed heroin death of a Haverhill man who, after being stopped by Gloucester police, reportedly swallowed two small packages of heroin to hide it from officers — and was found dead of an overdose less than a half hour later.

In that Jan. 17 incident, police ultimately confiscated more than $75,000 worth of what Police Chief Michael Lane called "pure heroin" from an apartment in Lawrence.

That discovery came after Jose C. Navarro, 32, of Haverhill, had been pulled over on Washington Street after police had spotted him crossing the center line around 2 a.m.

Police say he ingested the two bags of heroin while making what authorities called a "routine" drug delivery in the city of Gloucester. He was let go after passing a series of field sobriety tests, but was rushed from a Perkins Road home to Addison Gilbert Hospital some 20 minutes later.

A followup police investigation led to information regarding Navarro's deliveries, and the drugs, cash and weapons found at the Lawrence apartment that was leased in his name.

Nick Curcuru can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3461, or at ncurcuru@gloucestertimes.com.

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