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Monessen woman survives drug OD

| Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2014, 12:01 a.m.

A Monessen woman who survived a drug overdose Sunday had in her car empty packages from a deadly form of heroin connected to 22 deaths in western Pennsylvania late last month, police said.

The potent mix of heroin and fentanyl, a prescription painkiller, which authorities believe responsible for the recent deaths, were marketed under street names of “Theraflu,” “Bud Ice” and “Income Tax.”

The Monessen overdose victim, whom police did not identify, had two empty packages of “Income Tax,” but a witness told police the empty stamp bags were used by the victim previously.

The “Income Tax” mix of heroin found in the car were not related to the overdose, police Chief John Mandarino said.

The 28-year-old Monessen woman was discovered unconscious in her car 11:19 a.m. Sunday in the 400 block of Reed Avenue, Mandarino said.

She was taken to Monongahela Valley Hospital in Carroll Township, where she was expected to make a recovery.

Mandarino said it is possible the woman will face criminal charges.

Drug paraphernalia was also found in the car.

Mandarino alleged the woman purchased the heroin from Eric Hill, 35, of 444 Chestnut St., Monessen.

Hill was charged with possession of a controlled substance-heroine and Suboxone, possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance-heroine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Police found empty heroin stamp bags in garbage cans at Hill's residence as well as 38 bags of suspected heroine in a bag on the second floor of the house. It was marked “100 percent puro” and “Powerball.”

Police also found five boxes of Suboxone and two digital scales.

“Police are pursuing the heroin dealers to the fullest extent,” Mandarino said. “It won't be tolerated. We're looking to every avenue, including with other agencies, to stop this before people get sick and possibly die from this garbage.”

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

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