After 74 People Overdose, Chicago Cops Arrest 2

Gang members suspected of supplying laced heroin
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 5, 2015 5:04 AM CDT

(Newser) – Chicago cops have arrested two alleged drug dealers who may be linked to a huge spike in heroin overdoses that nearly left the city littered with corpses. Alfonzo Sylvester, 24, and Mario Wofford, 26, both alleged members of the Unknown Lords gang, have been charged with possession of heroin with intent to deliver, the Chicago Tribune reports. Sylvester, who escaped police in a car chase only to be arrested the next day, has also been charged with "aggravated fleeing," the Tribune reports. Police believe a batch or batches of heroin laced with the painkiller fentanyl was the cause of at least 74 overdoses in a 72-hour period last week. Paramedics had to double or triple the dose of overdose antidote Narcan to save some of the overdose victims.

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Former Chicago Police Supt. Phil Cline tells the Chicago Sun-Times that the rash of overdoses reminds him of 2006, when fentanyl-laced heroin killed dozens of people—but still had some addicts seeking out a "powerful high." "Whatever it is that's going around, you just hope they can find out whose putting this stuff out there and put a stop to it or else there’s going to be a lot of deaths," Cline says. "The addicts think they can handle it but they can't." Officials haven't released a figure for overdoses from the weekend, the Sun-Times reports, but they say the rate of hospital admissions has slowed down. (Read more heroin stories.)

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