Flakka Proves Deadly in Indian River County


Flakka Proves Deadly in Indian River County

On June 16, 2015, at approximately 3:44 A.M., deputies with the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 9-1-1 call of a disturbance in the 4300 block of 35th Avenue. The 9-1-1 caller advised that forty-two year old Jermaine Benjamin was “tripping” and “acting crazy”, during what appeared to be a drug induced incident. Today, detectives with the Indian River County Sheriff’s Office have closed their investigation into the death of Jermaine Benjamin, with the medical examiner ruling that his death was a result of excited delirium as a result of taking Flakka.

Flakka, a drug described as being more powerful than heroin or cocaine, is a dangerous designer narcotic that Indian River County Sheriff’s Office Detectives are seeing more often. “Many users think they are purchasing Molly, but in reality, they are sold a dose of deadly Flakka,” stated Detective Sergeant Anthony Civita. He continued, “We are seeing more of it on the streets, even interviewing people high on Flakka.” Flakka, or alpha-PVP as it is known to law enforcement, can cause psychotic breakdowns, hallucinations, and incidents of violence without warning. The drug can be smoked, swallowed, or injected. Flakka is considered a cousin to the drug combination found in bath salts, another deadly drug that hit South Florida in recent years.
Flakka’s chemical composition prevents the body from naturally reducing the hormones associated with excitement, created by the drug. In turn, the drug can cause an extended period of sustained escalation resulting in body temperature increase. Users have reported the sensation of being on fire; Many are found without clothing. This sustained internal temperature can ultimately lead to internal bleeding, multi-organ failure, or death. Indian River County Sheriff Deryl Loar stated, “We are greatly concerned that Flakka has reached our streets and our youth. We will do everything we can to arrest those who peddle this garbage in our community. Drug users should be wary of purchasing anything that may be Flakka as it might be your last purchase.”
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