Police Investigating Tainted Heroin Make 5 Arrests

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    Hartford police have arrested five people suspected of supplying laced heroin. 

    The Hartford Police Department's Vice and Narcotics Unit and SWAT team raided 108 Enfield Street in Hartford at 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday as part of investigation into overdoses on Fentanyl-laced heroin in the Hartford region, police said.

    As law enforcement is investigating the sales, the state is increasing its resources in response to an increase in heroin overdose deaths.

    Hartford police, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation executed the warrant and found more than 2,000 bags of heroin laced with Fentanyl, a potentially lethal combination of drugs. according to police.

    The bags were stamped "New World," "Bingo 9" and "Shine."

    Fentanyl is a synthetic opiate that is more potent than morphine, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

    Authorities also seized marijuana, cash and two motor vehicles.

    Juan Antonio Baez, 40, of 108 Enfield Street in Hartford and Carlos Cardona, 27, and Christopher Cardona, 29, both of 24 Milford Street in Hartford, were charged with federal narcotics trafficking violations.

    Romanita Gomez, 40, of 108 Enfield Street in Hartford, was charged with possession of narcotics and possession with intent to sell narcotics.

    Angel Gonzalez, 27, of 792 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, was charged with possession of marijuana and possession of marijuana with intent to sell. Police also served him with three
    outstanding arrest warrants.

    This is an ongoing investigation.

    Heroin is a potent naturally occurring opioid that’s effect is amplified when used in combination with man-made opioids, increasing the likelihood of a death from overdose.

    The state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services is adding resources in response to an increase in heroin overdose deaths.

    “These fatalities are preventable. Treatment options for opioid addiction are available and we must link those using heroin to effective services” Commissioner Patricia Rehmer said in a statement. “We must also ensure widespread dissemination of Narcan, the life-saving drug that reverses drug overdoses. Addiction is a long term disease where relapses can occur but recovery is possible”

    This plan includes reaching out to substance abuse treatment providers and encouraging them to consider making it standard practice to provide Narcan education and prescriptions to people close to opioid addicts who are using or in recovery.

    Narcan is a prescription drug that reverses an opioid overdose and a layperson can administer it.

    The victim usually responds in one to two minutes, according to the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services.

    They will also be increasing education about the dangers of prescription drug abuse and heroin use through community forums over the next several months.

    The department's substance abuse treatment providers will continue to educate on the lethal combination of heroin and synthetic opioids and advertising treatment options and how to access them.

    For more, see the DMHAS website or the State Network of Care Web site.