Franklin Co. man charged with murder in tranquilizer-laced heroin overdose death

Posted at 7:00 PM, Jul 26, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-26 23:39:00-04

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Ohio -- Police have charged a Franklin County man with murder after they said he sold a batch of heroin mixed with animal tranquilizers, leading to one death and multiple overdoses in the area.

Law enforcement officials said 36-year-old Rayshon Alexander sold heroin mixed with carfentanil, a powerful animal tranquilizer, to at least 10 people earlier this month, leading to one death and as many as nine additional overdoses.

The overdoses all occurred within hours of each other, according to the Franklin County prosecutor’s office.

Health officials said carfentanil is 10,000 times more potent than morphine.

Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Mike Robison said it’s a trend that has been picking up and his department is not going to tolerate it.

“We are not going to put up with it anymore,” he said. “We are going to go after (the dealers) and charge them to the fullest extent that the law allows.”

In addition to the murder charge, Alexander is facing 20 counts total, including aggravated murder and drug trafficking.

“Yes, these users have some responsibility for taking that, but these dealers know that the product they are putting out is extremely dangerous, extremely unsafe, and yet they are pitting it out there in the market,” Robison said.

For Hamilton County Health Commissioner Tim Ingram, carfentanil is the most potent opioid he knows, making the trend “crazy.”

“The drug pushers are putting something in heroin that folks that have the disease of addiction are unsuspectedly using that can kill them,” he said.

Officials said they don’t know if the carfentanil is being imported or if it is being manufactured locally.