Men Arrested for Selling Deadly Mix of Heroin

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CLEVELAND - Two Cleveland men are charged with trafficking a particularly deadly mix of heroin on Cleveland’s west side this week.

Cuyahoga County prosecutors allege Ralph Torres and Rafael Torres II were selling a deadly mix of heroin, called ‘China White,’ that killed one person and nearly killed four others this week.

Prosecutors allege the heroin was mixed with a potent drug called fentanyl.

"There was one non-fatal overdose that was related to fentanyl over these past few days and then it looks like we've had two, maybe three, fatal overdoses on fentanyl as well," Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson said. Gilson issued a public health warning over fentanyl, which he says is 15-20 times more potent than heroin.

"Fentanyl is an anesthetic. That's what they use when they put people asleep to do heart surgery," Gilson said.

Gilson believes some drug dealers are using fentanyl as a substitution or cutting agent with heroin.

"These aren't situations where people know what they are buying and because it is so much more potent than heroin, it's so much more easy to overdose on this," Gilson said.

"It's horrifying," said Tony Parker, the executive director of The Lantern, an addiction recovery center on Cleveland's west side. He's on the front line battling the heroin epidemic.

"These young men and women don't know the repercussion of what's going to happen. If the medical examiner is putting it out there - that means they are seeing a lot of bodies that shouldn't be there," Parker said.

CLICK HERE for much more on the heroin epidemic, including Bill Sheil’s special series on ‘Heroin Hits Home.’

31 comments

    • Kali

      Oh whatever!!! They aren’t holding anyone down and making them do it, and they sure aren’t passing it out for free. These people deserve what they get!!!

      • Jason

        My thoughts exactly. THEY decided to seek out a way to purchase it…THEY decided to shoot up…THEY knew/know the risks of it. The user(s) are just as much to blame as the dealer(s).

      • Stacy

        No your right their not holding them down and making them do it but How are these people dying?It starts first w the dealers.Nobody deserves to die Kali and my son who was struggling everyday to stay clean sure didnt deserve to die from this horrible drug last October.

  • jim

    How can u blame these guys they didnt put a gun to there head and tell them to take it its sad for all the loses of life it really is

  • Sun King

    Thinning the herd. Who cares about the loser addicts, let them overdose and die if that is what they want.

  • Michael B.

    I really hate the arguement that ” they did the drug they deserve what happened to them ” …. its so ignorant and ridiculous. I tried cocaine ONCE in my life. If it had been mixed with something like this, its quite possible I would’ve died. I would like to believe I didn’t ” deserve ” to die for trying a drug once. It was a mistake. These people, clearly… and I’m sure admittedly made mistakes. That doesn’t make them marked for death.
    Its such a shame people think like this. Its really quite sad, on both ends.

  • Rick

    If we try something that could be deadly to our life then we deserve what we receive Michael… Common sense not sad

  • observer

    My hat is off to all you PERFECT people who have never made a mistake or a bad choice.I would also like to know where they get the fentanyl. My son was put on this during and after brain surgery. It is dangerous under the best of circumstances. He went into cardiac arrest a few weeks later and it left him with an arrhythmia where the heart can just stop again. I will always believe this drug was part of the problem, if not all. Why would you want something like that for pleasure?

  • DarwinWins

    If you read the indictment documents for the 94 drug dealers they arrested in the sweep back in Dec there were several comments about mixing the stuff with dirt or whatever was handy. The dealers don’t care, they are just there for the money. Anyone buying street drugs, rolls the dice when they shoot that stuff into their bodies.

  • My Info

    Jason you are about a odiot if a heroin addict could get clean they would trust me I was one and o hayed ot so bad but I couldnt ot took me going to jail to quit o used to get high then lay on the bed woth my little girl and cry cus I couldnt quit stop

  • Sean K

    The lack of human decency in most of these comments is deplorable. To condemn people you don’t know as “lower addicts” and worthless criminals, you don’t know what has caused this. There are a variety of causes for both addiction and selling. Continue to sit in Ivory towers and live with your false piety. The rest of us will just keep trying to get through.

  • Crystal

    Unless you understand what it is like to be an addict or have a family member/friend you have no Iidea what it is like. I have an idea. Why dint people try to be understanding and have just an ounce of compassion? No one should have to die because of this. These people who are dying were someone special to someone. These people were fighting an internal war that is like living in hell. A mental obeseeion that no human power can relieve them from. There is no more will powe, just a shell of who they once were. And drug dealling is an addiction to thatlife style. No I do not understand this but I can see. The money Iin abundance… who wouldnt be? God forbid, all you who are judging these addicts, never have to experience any side of addiction.

    • Sun King

      Boo hoo! If life is too tough for you that you need heroin to cope with your sadness then you obviously are not cut out to make it. The strong will survive, the weak are tossed by the wayside. Adios weaklings!

      • Kathy

        You need to educate yourself about addiction. You also need to understand that addiction is a ghetto problem. Educated people become addicts. This includes doctors, lawyers, ect. No one is immune. Be thankful you don’t suffer from one.

  • Dillon

    Just legalize it all already. The whole thing is ignorant. Just like prohibition created the booze runners of the time the drug laws have created the drug dealer. The users are going to be users until they either die or decide to change their life. A lot of people like to think of the user as some low life who contributes nothing to society, when in many cases that is just not true. In my years I’ve seen a few people, productive members of society, working full time jobs with families, who you would have never thought to be an addict and they lost their life to it. Maybe if what they were buying was regulated and controlled and not some garbage mixed up in a basement by some “gangsta drug dealer” they would still be with us for better or worse. At least maybe they would still have a chance to straighten out their life.

  • Elizabeth

    I can’t believe how many insensitive people are posting very hurtful & ignorant comments. I only hope God has the same kindness and mercy on your soul when your time comes

  • DollFace

    I’m a recovering heroin addict, I struggle everyday… EVERY SINGLE DAY. And if you pasted me on the street you’d never know. I’m your basic high school cheerleader with a lot of friends and yes I’m very very pretty. So you might have the mouths to down grade on here but I bet if you were in my face it’d be a different story. Internet gangsters = fat over weight women and men that are unhappy with their lives. KEEP COMING BACK..

    • Judy

      You have no idea what we all look like,and the same could be said for you if you were in our faces,but the bottom line is junkie is a junkie,and if you can recover God bless you,and if you can’t that is also on you,I wish you the best!!

  • Brittany

    You guys sound like idiots. I’m addicted to heroin and I never thought I would even ever touch this horrible drug. When I was 16 I was prescribed pain killers for 2 years got addicted so when my Dr cut me off I went to ocs. Then my ex bf introduced me to heroin, its hard to get help I’m currently on waiting lists and they tell you to continue to use until you get into their program. I cry everytime I use but I give in BC I’m in such bad withdrawals. No one I know wants to be an addict

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