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Police believe heroin laced with fentanyl behind man’s death

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Police officers carry out search warrants as part of the anti-drugs Operation Pegasus (Photograph supplied)

A man is feared to have died after an overdose of fentanyl-laced heroin, police revealed yesterday.

He was among several people who went to hospital because of the substance.

A police spokesman said six suspects were arrested over the weekend after raids on properties as part of the anti-drugs Operation Pegasus.

Detective Chief Inspector Sherwin Joseph, the head of the police’s specialist investigations department, said: “This operation commenced after we received information that a number of persons attended King Edward VII Memorial Hospital having overdosed on the controlled drug heroin, that was laced with fentanyl.

“One man is suspected to have died as a result and our criminal investigations unit will continue inquiries into these matters.”

Police officers carry out raids as part of the anti-drugs Operation Pegasus (Photograph supplied)

The police spokesman said that several search warrants were enforced on Saturday and Sunday.

Members of the police tactical support division, drugs unit, and criminal Investigations unit, led by Inspector Shakisha Minors, were involved in the operation.

The police spokesman added: “Acting on information received that controlled drugs were being stored at specific locations, warrants were executed at four properties.

“Six suspects were arrested after a quantity of cash, controlled drugs – believed to be heroin and fentanyl – along with drug paraphernalia were seized.”

Fentanyl facts

The United States Drug Enforcement Administration website said that fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine.

It added: “Pharmaceutical fentanyl was developed for pain management treatment of cancer patients, applied in a patch on the skin.

“Because of its powerful opioid properties, Fentanyl is also diverted for abuse.

“Fentanyl is added to heroin to increase its potency, or be disguised as highly potent heroin.”

The website said that users often believed they were buying heroin and were unaware that they were getting fentanyl, which resulted in overdose deaths.

The spokesman warned: “The misuse of controlled drugs can have serious side effects.

“Fentanyl in particular can lead to drowsiness, nausea, respiratory depression and death.”

He added that no more information would be released because the investigation was "at a delicate stage“.