Warning issued for drug that killed 5 in Pinellas, several others around the state

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ORLANDO, Fla. (WESH) – Local and state law enforcement officers are issuing a new warning to Central Florida residents about a dangerous, deadly new drug.

The drug, U-47700, is sometimes called “pinky,” and it’s already led to the deaths of several people.

The synthetic drug was manufactured in the 1970s for research, but State Attorney Pam Bondi said it has no legitimate health benefits.

It has made its way to Florida through Mexico and Canada, with deadly consequences.

“One child’s death is too many. And look at all we’ve had. We’re trying to catch this early on and stop,” said State Attorney Pam Bondi, as leaders of several state law enforcement agencies stood behind her Tuesday.

Five deaths have been attributed to U-47700 in Pinellas County, three deaths in Bay County in the Panhandle and in Orange County, the Medical Examiner, Joshua Stephany, said a male was found unresponsive in his home in May.

Authorities said U-47700 is cheap and easily purchased on the internet or the streets and costs about $40 a gram online. The drug is nearly eight times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin.

State Attorney Pam Bondi said, “What they’re doing is cutting this with other drugs, mixing them together and it’s called poly drug overdose.”

On Tuesday, State Attorney Pam Bondi signed an emergency order outlawing U-47700 in the state of Florida. Ohio, Wyoming and Georgia have already made the drug illegal.

The drug comes in pill form, powdered form and in a nasal spray.

Anyone who is caught with the drug will face a third-degree felony charge, punishable by up to five years in prison.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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