Saturday, July 26, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Laced heroin challenging law enforcement in Pa.

PITTSBURGH - In an effort to dismantle the pipeline of deadly fentanyl-laced heroin flowing into Western Pennsylvania, state Attorney General Kathleen Kane has set up her office as a clearinghouse for information on the drug suspected in nearly two dozen deaths over the last 10 days.

"We want to make sure that we have all the information that we can," Kane said Tuesday. "We're coordinating efforts to find out where the dealers are and where the supply is coming from."

Those efforts include working with law enforcement agencies at every level and establishing a tip line: 1-800-442-8006.

Kane said authorities believed the drugs were coming into the region from outside Pennsylvania. She declined to elaborate.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office said tests identified heroin and fentanyl in bags retrieved from some of the scenes of 15 suspected overdose deaths in the county.

Drug dealers peddling the killer combination appear to be changing the street name of their product as law enforcement pressure builds and public outreach raises awareness of the mixture that had been sold as "Theraflu" and "Bud Ice."

A Pennsylvania State Police bulletin over the weekend cited the brand names associated with fatal overdoses as well as two new monikers: "Coors Light" and "Diesel."

U.S. Attorney David J. Hickton said Tuesday that the outbreak of overdoses was "the most pressing crime problem for law enforcement."

Jonathan D. Silver Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
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