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Originally published Thursday, January 3, 2013 at 7:04 PM

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Panhandler found dead with $83K of heroin, needle in his arm

A panhandler was found dead in his car in Yakima with a needle in his arm and $83,000 worth of heroin, police say.

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YAKIMA — A man police said was one of Yakima's more conspicuous panhandlers died from an apparent overdose on New Year's Day in a car containing $83,000 worth of heroin.

Acting on a request Tuesday night, police and firefighters discovered the body of 56-year-old Douglas Budd in his car in the parking lot of the downtown Taco Bell on East Yakima Avenue.

A hypodermic needle was still in his arm, suggesting Budd died almost instantly from a drug overdose, police said. The shot was so potent, he spilled his strawberry shake all over himself.

In addition to the strawberry shake, police said Budd had $1,725 in cash as well as a half-pound of heroin — a street value of $83,000.

Capt. Rod Light, a spokesman for the Yakima Police Department, said Budd was already under investigation for drug dealing and split his time between dealing and panhandling at one of the city's busiest intersections.

According to court records, Budd had a lengthy criminal history that included 16 misdemeanor convictions for shoplifting as well felony convictions for burglary, drug possession and theft of a firearm.

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