The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

January 31, 2014

State Attorney General: Dealers may be ’rebranding’ deadly heroin


The Associated Press

— PITTSBURGH — Attorney General Kathleen Kane says drug dealers may be “rebranding” a deadly heroin blend that is being blamed for 22 overdose deaths in western Pennsylvania.

Kane’s remarks came after state drug agents charged a 29-year-old Clairton man with possessing heroin stamped with the name “Sky High.”

Kane says investigators believe those drugs might be related to heroin marked “Theraflu” and “Bud Ice” which has been linked to the recent deaths.

The Allegheny County medical examiner’s office and other authorities have said heroin bags stamped with those two labels have also tested positive for fentanyl, a synthetic morphine substitute that can be up to 100 times stronger than heroin. That blend is blamed for the deaths.

A state police bulletin indicates investigators are also trying to determine if some or all of the deadly drugs originated in New Jersey.