Last June is when law enforcement officials first started seeing a new combination of heroin and Fentanyl and now there is a corresponding spike in overdose deaths.
The U.S. Attorney's office in Western New York is trying to snuff out the deadly drug. Three separate cases lead to the arrests of four Buffalo suspects this month.
Thirty-five year old Davon Banks was busted for attempting to sell the heroin-fentanyl mix. Twenty-five year old Jerome Tallington is charged with selling heroin and 33 year old Elizabeth Martinez is charged with smuggling heroin to her husband, 28 year old Andres Martinez who is an inmate in the Attica Correctional Facility. That investigation began in December after the overdose deaths of two inmates.
Under federal narcotics laws the charges against the suspects carry a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
Already in the northeast more than 20 deaths have been linked to the heroin cocktail in Pittsburgh and 22 people overdosed in Rhode Island within a 13 day period.
Nationwide heroin overdose rates have increased 45 percent.