Alleged drug dealer charged with murder for overdose death caused by ‘zombie drug’

Metro Atlanta police tell Channel 2′s Tom Regan they are seeing more overdose cases involving fentanyl and animal tranquilizer.

It’s called “zombie dope” or “tranq.”

An alleged drug dealer is now charged with murder in connection with a deadly overdose caused by the lethal mix.

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The suspect was charged by both police and federal authorities.

The overdose happened a couple of years ago.

Two men scored what they thought was crack cocaine.

It turned out to be a deadly cocktail of drugs.

Conyers police are now seeing more overdose cases involving fentanyl mixed with xylazine, a non-prescription form of a powerful animal tranquilizer.

“This is a crisis pandemic that’s going on all across the country,” Conyers Police Sgt. Quantavis Garcia said. “Usually that drug is used to sedate animals as large as elephants.”

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Garcia was on patrol when he was called to an extended-stay motel in March 2021 on a report of a drug overdose.

It was a grim scene.

“The victim was deceased, (he) was inside the room. He was next to the bed. And at that point we couldn’t perform any life-saving procedures to bring him back,” Garcia said.

Garcia said another man in the motel who’d used the drugs was incoherent.

Police said the men got the drugs from Masi Fears, 36.

“There have been several cases here in the city of Conyers where those drugs have been involved in drug transactions,” Garcia said.

Unlike fentanyl, a xylazine overdose cannot be reversed with Narcan or Naloxone.

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Xylazine is also known to rot the skin of regular users, which can lead to amputations.

“It sedates people, it can also cause necrotic lesions that may be another reason its nicknamed the ‘zombie drug,’” Garcia said.

Police tell Channel 2 Action News they are currently investigating another fatal overdose involving xylazine and that there could be criminal charges in that case as well.

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