Suspected 'Mass Fentanyl Poisoning Event' Kills 9 in Florida

Authorities suspect other drugs were tainted with fentanyl
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 6, 2022 2:02 AM CDT
Updated Jul 6, 2022 7:00 AM CDT
Suspected 'Mass Fentanyl Poisoning Event' Kills 9 in Florida
This photo released by the Casa Grande Police Department, shows a collagen supplement bottle that concealed approximately 500,000 fentanyl pills.   (Casa Grande Police Department via AP)

Nine people died over the holiday weekend in Gadsden County, Florida, in what officials are calling a "potential mass fentanyl poisoning event." Two women were found dead of an apparent drug overdose Friday, prompting the Gadsden County Sheriff's Office to issue an alert regarding drugs potentially tainted with fentanyl, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. Seven others died and still others overdosed and survived, WTXL reports. The ages of those impacted ranged from 34 to 67. Seven of the deaths are confirmed to be linked to the apparently bad batch of drugs and two others are suspected to be linked, but are still under investigation. In one case, a passenger died after the driver of a car passed out from using drugs and crashed.

The sheriff's office said it would "not only identify those responsible for the sales and distribution of the drug but to rid this deadly substance from our streets." The DEA is assisting with the investigation. "The men and women of the DEA are committed to bringing to justice the criminal drug networks and dealers that are killing Americans by deliberately distributing fentanyl and deceptively mixing it into other substances and into fake pills," says an administrator in a statement. (Read more Florida stories.)

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