NEW: Accused drug dealer warns of heroin ‘dropping’ people ‘like crazy’

Updated Dec 01, 2017

A Stuart man’s attempt to sell heroin Wednesday night did not go as he had hoped, the Martin County Sheriff’s Office said.

Instead, Charles Earl Zureich was overcome with emotion as he was taken into custody by sheriff’s detectives during an undercover drug transaction. He was taken to a hospital for observation before being booked into the Martin County Jail, the sheriff’s office said.

The arrest comes as Martin County authorities continue their efforts to crack down on deadly opioids. The sheriff’s office reports that it has responded to 72 drug overdose calls this year, with 11 of those resulting in deaths.

Related: Drug overdoses rise in Martin County after early-year dip

According to an arrest report, Zureich, 36, contacted an undercover detective about selling $100 worth of heroin. The detective arranged to meet with Zureich in the Tropical Farms area, off Kanner Highway west of Florida’s Turnpike, as other detectives in unmarked vehicles stood by.

“Be careful with this (expletive). It’s dropping (expletive) like crazy,” Zureich allegedly warned investigators before the sale.

Related: Heroin-related deaths skyrocket as Palm Beach County leads state

As a sheriff’s narcotics team moved in to arrest him, Zureich complained of head and back pain and began to act in disoriented state, the sheriff’s office said. Doctors gave him medical clearance, and then he was booked into the ja

He remained in custody late Thursday in lieu of $32,500 bail. Zureich reportedly told investigators he was selling heroin because he was trying to survive on the streets and because it helped feed his addiction.