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Cincinnati man charged in Chicago's first carfentanil case

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Posted at 12:21 PM, Dec 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-21 12:36:43-05

CHICAGO -- A Cincinnati man was arraigned Tuesday in the “first Chicago-area prosecution” related to the carfentanil, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Clifford Reed, 27, is accused of buying “multi-kilogram quantities of heroin” in Chicago and mixing it with carfentanil, a drug 10,000 times more potent than morphine that is commonly used as an elephant tranquilizer.

In a July 15 news conference, Cincinnati officials confirmed the drug had made its way into the city. Overdoses spiked near Cincinnati in August -- local hospital emergency rooms handled 174 drug overdoses between Aug. 19 and Aug. 24.

RELATED: Heroin overdoses climb to 174, three fatalities in Cincinnati and Hamilton County

Police said Reed was arrested Sept. 9 after he sold carfentanil-laced heroin to an informant in Chicago. Officers arrested Reed on an outstanding warrant from Ohio.

U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon said investigating heroin and opioid trafficking is top priority.

“Carfentanil-laced narcotics pose an extremely serious threat to our communities, and anyone who attempts to distribute it will be held accountable,” Fardon said. 

Reed has been charged with multiple counts of assault, domestic violence and drug possession in Hamilton County dating back to 2008. He served prison time in 2015 for trafficking heroin.