Florida fentanyl, 'tranq' distribution ring dismantled by feds, Volusia County deputies: sheriff

Authorities in Florida say a drug trafficking organization responsible for distributing fentanyl in Volusia County has been dismantled following a long-term investigation by the Volusia Bureau of Investigation and task force partners.

"The investigation began in April 2022 and involved months of surveillance, search warrants, intelligence gathering, and wiretaps," the Volusia County Sheriff's office said. During the investigation, agents also seized more than 200 grams of a mixture of fentanyl and xylazine, an animal tranquilizer also known as "tranq" and "zombie drug."

The Drug Enforcement Administration reports that xylazine has become increasingly present in mixtures of heroin, cocaine, and other narcotics.  Xylazine has been found to cause wounds at the injection site that destroy flesh and can cause amputation of limbs. Because the drug is a sedative, not an opioid, users who overdose might not be revived by traditional reversal treatments like Narcan.