Deadly batch of ‘bad’ heroin kills at least 5 in metro area, officials say

Police believe the drugs were laced or replaced with Fentanyl
Published: Jul. 18, 2019 at 6:56 PM CDT
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HINDS COUNTY, Miss. (WLBT) - A deadly batch of heroin may have killed as many as six people in Hinds County in the last few days. Some officials said it may have included fentanyl.

Hinds County Coroner Sharon Grisham Stewart confirmed that at least five have died of overdoses in the metro area in the last week. Authorities say the victims, most reported to be in their early 20s, may have gotten hold of the same bad batch of drugs.

“We can confirm five overdose deaths here in the metro, possibly 6. We’re still waiting on pieces of evidence in the sixth,” said Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics Director John Dowdy.

These victims, whose names have not been released, may have thought they were getting heroin, but in reality what they probably got was the more deadly fentanyl, according to Dowdy.

“Fentanyl is probably actually cheaper than heroin, so what they’re doing is they’re either mixing heroin with fentanyl or substituting fentanyl for heroin,” said Mississippi Crime Lab Director Sam Howell.

Heroin can be bad enough by itself, but if a user tried to take his normal amount of heroin and it’s actually fentanyl, Director Dowdy says the result is certain.

“It doesn’t take but one microgram of fentanyl to kill someone, so you have someone purchasing a gram of fentanyl and ingesting any part of that at one time your chances of death are about 100 percent,” he said.

Dowdy and Howell’s advice? Just don’t take the drugs.

“It’s kinda like playing Russian roulette,” Dowdy said.

This case is under investigation. We will release more information as it becomes available.

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