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Three Dead, Seven Others Rushed To Hospital After Taking Cocaine Laced With Narcotic Painkiller Hundred Times More Powerful Than Heroin

December 9, 2014  |  Posted by: Giovanni DePhillips
Three Dead, Seven Others Rushed To Hospital After Taking Cocaine Laced With Narcotic Painkiller Hundred Times More Powerful Than Heroin Perry Paunders - Image courtesy of dailymail.co.uk

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Three people are dead and seven others are hospitalized after using cocaine laced with a powerful narcotic painkiller, authorities said on Monday.

The overdoses took place over several hours Saturday in North Carolina’s Chatham County, sheriff’s office spokesman Doug Stuart said.

All three deaths and the injuries sustained happened within a six hour time frame, in three different locations.

Six people were treated in a hospital, one of the of them is in critical condition.

According to the sheriff’s deputy who told WNCN that the drugs killed each victim within an hour of being taken.

The deceased have been identified as Michael Currie, 42, of Bear Creek; Randal Welch, 24, of Franklinville; and 23-year-old Perry Saunders of Aurora, Missouri.

Autopsies are being performed by the North Carolina Medical Examiner.

Police say the state crime lab studied samples of the cocaine and found the presence of the narcotic painkiller Fentanyl in it.

Image courtesy of dailymail.co.uk

Image courtesy of dailymail.co.uk

Fentanyl is believed to be 100 times more powerful than morphine and hundreds of times more potent than heroin, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The controlled substance is an opioid painkiller in the morphine family and used as part of anesthesia to help prevent pain after surgery.

It effects the central nervous system as well respiratory function.

‘We haven’t determined how it ended up in there. We don’t know if it was a mix-up, or something done on purpose,’ Captain Doug Stuart said.

Stuart also said said that they are working with state and federal agencies, “what’s in North Carolina today could be in Chicago tomorrow.”

He added, “Federal officials are assisting in the investigation, however no arrests have been made.”

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