Cincinnati police say heroin they seized was mixed with elephant tranquilizer

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CINCINNATI (AP) — Cincinnati-area authorities say lab tests confirm that heroin seized in a recent arrest was mixed with a powerful animal tranquilizer.

Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil said Friday a pink substance turned out to be heroin combined with carfentanil and fentanyl. Fentanyl is a strong painkiller, and carfentanil is used to sedate elephants.

Authorities suspect heroin laced with other substances has been responsible for a spike in overdoses in the Cincinnati area and several other communities in recent weeks.

The sheriff’s office says the amount seized Aug. 26 was relatively small, but significant because of the danger posed by carfentanil’s strength.

Investigators say they also recovered cocaine and marijuana from the vehicle stopped on Interstate 75 in Cincinnati. Authorities say a grand jury action is pending for two Cincinnati-area men. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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