Dubuque Police warning of new powerful drug


DUBUQUE, Iowa (KWQC) – An Iowa community is on alert after police in one city found a drug more powerful than fentanyl in the community.

“If it’s used to tranquilize elephants, you probably shouldn’t be using it as a person,” said Sgt. Gary Pape with the Dubuque Police Department.

That’s the message Pape, the city’s drug task force director, is trying to get across to Dubuque and other communities about the drug ‘carfentanil.”

“It’s a large animal tranquilizer, and it’s not meant for people to consume,” Pape said.

He said the drug on its own, or laced in heroin, can be deadly to anyone, even long-time addicts.

“To people who are addicted to heroin or even fentanyl it can still be extremely dangerous because again it’s just so much more potent than heroin and even more potent than fentanyl,” Pape said.

Carfentanil is 100 times more potent than fentanyl, which is 50 times more potent than heroin. That’s why Pape is urging people to be on the lookout for the drug.

“If you come across an unknown powder and say you find it in a relative, or friend, or son, or daughter and you know that they have an issue, just don’t mess with it,” Pape said. He also urged you call 911 immediately.

Pape said the smallest amount of the drug is deadly, especially for people who have no history of opiod use.

And Pape said it could be headed to surrounding communites as well.

“You have people coming all the time from these smaller communities to Dubuque, unfortunately, to get some of their narcotics and their drugs so there’s a chance that they could take it back to their communities out there, or sell it there.

Although Pape hopes the department’s warning curbs the problem, he does not think it is likely.

“If they’re an addict all I can say is think twice about using it because it may be the last time you do,” Pape said.

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