Hartford police said heroin-related overdoses are on the rise in the capital city, and they're trying to disrupt the drug's supply. Earlier this week, police arrested five people, and seized 2,000 bags of heroin.
The bags were laced with fentanyl, a drug that can be as much as 100 times stronger than morphine.
Hartford police, along with federal drug enforcement and FBI agents, said they've been investigating both the rise in drug overdoses and the sale of the laced heroin in the region.
Hartford Deputy Chief Brian Foley said the department is even seeing bags that contain no heroin at all -- just fentanyl. "Essentially," he said, "they're selling fentanyl in a synthetic powder form on the street and passing it off as heroin. Given its potency, it's very dangerous to our user population."
Foley said even some dealers are aware of the trend and they're warning their users, because they don't want to lose a customer to an overdose.
The arrests happened on Wednesday. Five people were charged and 2,000 bags of heroin were seized, along with marijuana, money, and cars.
Foley said, "At this point, do I think 2,000 bags is going to stop the drug trafficking in the city of Hartford for even a day? No, I don't. But we continue to try to make dents."
Foley said this is the second bust of this size in the past few weeks. The investigation is ongoing.