Chicago police have arrested more than 25 people as a result of raids aimed at tackling the sale of fatally fentanyl-laced heroin, the Chicago Police Department (CPD) announced late Thursday. When mixed together, the highly-addictive drugs are extremely concentrated and deadly.
Undercover detectives from CPD’s Narcotics Division set up drug buys following a recent spike in deaths due to overdoses, according to CPD. The heroin that was purchased was sent to the Illinois State Police lab for testing. After discussing the matter with state and federal authorities to help build the case, CPD arrested more than 25 convicted felons and documented gang members on drug charges. It is not clear if there are currently more raids scheduled.
CPD partnered with agencies across the state and country during the investigation leading up to the raids including Drug Enforcement Administration, Illinois State Police, United States Attorney's Office, Cook County States Attorney's Office and the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area Program of the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy.
According to the Chicago Tribune, dozens of heroin users have died from fentanyl-related overdoses during the past 18 months. In August, 27 people in Huntington, West Virginia died in a 5-hour period due to overdosing on heroin laced with fentanyl.
The Center of Disease Control and Prevention says fentanyl is an opioid that is about 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine.