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State

‘Free samples’ of tainted heroin may have sent 8 to hospital, Chicago police say

CHICAGO – Authorities are investigating reports that people drove around the South Side early Saturday afternoon offering “free samples” of tainted heroin that sent 8 people to the hospital with overdoses.

No deaths have been reported, according to Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson.

A woman is being held in police custody as a person of interest, but police are still searching for a man who was last seen distributing the drugs in a 2001 Chevy Impala near 79th and East End.

“It’s not common to see that many overdoses so quickly, so that’s what brought that to our attention,” Johnson said during a news conference Monday.

He also said the department’s Organized Crime and Control Bureau conducted several narcotics, traffic and anti-violence operations over the weekend in the 2nd, 4th, 6th and 12th police districts.

Johnson said 32 people were arrested on felony gun and drug offenses, and 12 were charged with illegally possessing a firearm.

Officers issued 30 traffic citations and 20 violation notices against party buses during routine checks.

At least 78 guns were recovered citywide, including three from a Friday shooting at the United Center. Two people were arrested during that incident but no one was injured.

“Again, this speaks to the ridiculous culture here in Chicago where individuals are settling arguments with senseless gun violence,” Johnson said.

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