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Recent seizure of ‘zombie drug’ may be a first for Utah

Nic Fitzgerald, KSL-TV

Recent seizure of ‘zombie drug’ may be a first for Utah

By Pat Reavy, | Posted - Oct. 8, 2019 at 12:48 p.m.

This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

MAGNA — The so-called “zombie drug” has made its way to Utah, according to police.

Unified police, with assistance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, recently intercepted a package mailed from the Netherlands that contained the so-called “zombie drug.”

The drug, also known as Flakka, is similar to bath salts or synthetic methamphetamine. Several cases of people allegedly attacking others while high on Flakka have been reported around the nation over the past three years.

Flakka is also known as alpha-PVP. It can cause paranoia and hallucinations and “may lead to violent aggression and self-injury,” according to the Drug Enforcement Administration’s website.

Unified police say a recent investigation by their officers uncovered a derivative of Flakka, alpha-PHP, though it is still known as the “zombie drug,” according to police.

“This drug is very dangerous to the user,” a search warrant affidavit filed in 3rd District Court states. “This substance is commonly ordered online via the dark web and delivered via the mail.”

Unified Police Sgt. Melody Gray said the recent seizure of the zombie drug is believed to be the first case for the Unified Police Department and possibly the first known case in the state.

The package was addressed to a house in Magna. Last month, detectives served a search warrant on the home and seized marijuana, meth, liquid THC, prescription medications and drug paraphernalia, according to the warrant.

As of Tuesday, there had been no arrests. Gray said the investigation is ongoing.

Editor's note: An earlier version incorrectly said a man in Florida killed a couple after taking Flakka in 2016. Subsequent toxicology tests were negative for the drug.

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