Carfentanil, the power elephant sedative that’s been linked to a string of Ohio heroin deaths, is available for purchase online, a newsnet5.com investigation has uncovered.
The opiate is hundreds of times more powerful than morphine and used to sedate elephants that weigh thousands of pounds. In July, officials in Akron reported it was found laced in some heroin samples.
The highly-regulated schedule II drug is illegal to purchase for most Americans, but an online search on Tuesday revealed a number of Chinese-based based websites promising to sell it. Prices ranged between $400 and $800 per gram plus shipping.
A federal Drug Enforcement Administration spokeswoman confirmed they are aware of dealers buying it online, but heroin users may have no idea what they’re putting in their bodies until it’s too late.
“Let’s face facts here,” Summit County Sheriff’s Inspector Bill Holland said, "The last worry on a drug dealer’s mind is what happens to you after I give you that dose. They’re going to get that money and they’re going to keep increasing their profits.”
Agents in the Summit County Sheriff’s Office stopped performing field tests of suspected heroin ever since carfentanil began showing up in July. Now, agents put on masks to keep from breathing it in and those samples are sent off to labs for testing. Holland said right now his office is waiting for results on about 20 heroin samples.
The Cuyahoga County medical examiner's office said there have been no confirmed cases of carfentanil showing up in heroin samples. Still August was a record month for heroin deaths in the county, with 52 people dying as of August 30.
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