ELYRIA, Ohio - With 911 calls adding up about possible heroin overdoses, it became a race against time for the Lorain County Drug Task Force, Elyria & Lorain Police.
Their around-the-clock work this weekend culminated in the arrest a man they believe sold the potent drug "White China" — a drug possibly connected to at least 21 drug overdoses and two deaths within the past 48 hours in Lorain County.
Siaerres "Sizzle" Noble was arrested on Sunday on Brunswick Road in Elyria. Police report that he had 75 grams the potent drug, which was passed off as heroin, with him, as well as drug paraphernalia.
Noble is being held in the Lorain County Jail on no bond until his arraignment.
Authorities sad this continues to be a very active investigation and more arrests could be made.
10 of the overdoses happened in the city of Lorain, seven in Elyria and four in Lorain County.
Earlier this weekend, authorities reported that they responded to 16 reports of heroin overdoses Friday and Saturday in Lorain County, and that two of those were fatal.
One of the deaths was a 32-year-old female from Elyria. The other fatality happened in Amherst Township.
Lorain Police saved three lives by treating three of the victims with a nasal spray that helps revive victims who overdose on opiates like heroin.
Now the number of overdoses connected to this drug is 21, and preliminary tests have indicated that the drug is not heroin, as it was passed off to be, but a synthetic drug with fentanyl.
The drug was selling for $150 per gram and it still on the streets, police said.
Detectives are trying to track down the source of the fake and deadly drug.
Police originally believed the drug causing the spike in overdoses among heroin addicts was "China White" which is heroin mixed with the morphine like pain medication fentanyl, which can be 5 times stronger than heroin.
But street tests on the drug are showing no heroin at all/
Lab results are expected back Tuesday.
"If it's a synthetic fentanyl, it could be a lethal dosage in a small amount and people could die instantly," said Chief Deputy Dennis Cavanaugh from the Lorain Country Drug Task Force.
"I think we would be remiss to think Noble is the only person out in the community supplying this and we have detectives out there right now working on it as we speak," said Captain Chris Constantino with the Elyria Police Department.
"Some people get addicted to prescription pain meds and once that addiction becomes too expensive, some of them start using heroin," said James Welsh with the Elyria Police Police Department.
"I think a lot of the youngsters are starting to use it as a drug of recreation and it's not a good choice at all," said Lieutenant Roger Watkins with the Lorain Police Department.