Man arrested in overdose deaths blamed on ‘crazy dangerous’ elephant tranquilizer

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EAGLE COUNTY, Colo. — A man is facing manslaughter charges in connection with two overdose deaths blamed on an elephant tranquilizer that is about 100 times more potent than fentanyl.

The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office announced that 23-year-old Samuel Brunelus was arrested in Deerfield, Florida.

Back in March, two people were found dead in a home in the Blue Lake area, the sheriff’s office said.

Clear capsules containing heroin laced with carfentanil were found at the scene of a pair of drug overdoses in the El Jebel area, the Aspen Times reported.

It was determined that the overdoses were caused by the drug carfentanil, a synthetic opioid.

Carfentanil is “used as a tranquilizing agent for elephants and other large mammals,” according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.

“It is crazy dangerous,” DEA Acting Administrator Chuck Rosenberg said in a statement. “Synthetics such as fentanyl and carfentanil can kill you.”

Detectives were able to link Brunelus to the deaths and the capsules containing the carfentanil that were found at the scene.

He is currently being held in the Broward County Detention Facility on two counts of manslaughter and distribution of a schedule II controlled substance, the sheriff’s office said.

Brunelus is currently awaiting extradition to Colorado.

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