Pubdate: Tue, 06 Jun 2006
Source: Morning Call (Allentown, PA)
Copyright: 2006 The Morning Call Inc.
Author: Carla K. Johnson, The Associated Press
Bookmark: (Cocaine)
Bookmark: (Heroin)
Bookmark: (Walters, John)


Federal agents, working in cooperation with the Mexican government, 
have closed down a lab in Mexico that might be the main source of the 
powerful painkiller fentanyl that has killed heroin users in 
Pennsylvania and seven other states, U.S. drug czar John Walters said Monday.

Walters, the director of the White House Office of National Drug 
Control Policy, said it's still not clear whether the

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Order Reprints       fentanyl was mixed with heroin at the lab in 
Mexico or after it entered the United States. Fentanyl-laced cocaine 
also has turned up in some cities, he said.

He warned drug users that millions of deadly doses of fentanyl-laced 
heroin might still be on the streets. The mixture has caused at least 
100 confirmed deaths from Philadelphia to Chicago in recent months. 
Fentanyl might also be coming from other sources, he said.

"There may be more than one source," Walters said. "We think this is 
the principal source."

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration is testing samples of 
fentanyl seized in a May 28 raid of a suspected 
fentanyl-manufacturing operation near the city of Guadalajara, but 
does not yet have confirmation that the drug is linked to the U.S. 
deaths, DEA spokesman Steve Robertson said.

"We hope to have a break in the case, but we're not sure this is it," 
Robertson said.

Five men, all Mexican citizens, were arrested in connection with the 
May 28 raid, Robertson said.

Deaths from fentanyl-laced drugs have occurred in Illinois, Michigan, 
Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware and Maryland, Walters said.
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