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February 3, 2014 | By Amy Hubbard
The death of actor Philip Seymour Hoffman is bringing attention to the growing use of heroin in the U.S. as well as an alarming rise in drug-overdose deaths. The cause of death for Hoffman, found in his apartment Sunday, isn't official, but police say officers found packets of heroin near his body and a hypodermic needle in his arm. Hundreds of thousands in the U.S. are turning to the drug in increasing numbers.  It's at "epidemic proportions," a Drug Enforcement Administration spokesman told the L.A. Times.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports a 102% increase in fatal overdoses from 1999 to 2010.  Check out our graphic below, which shows how the availability of the drug has increased in the United States over the last several years.  Follow me at @AmyTheHub
March 22, 2012 | By Richard Simon
Gulp! A bellyful of an alleged drug-smuggling attempt was recently thwarted at Dulles International Airport with the arrest of a woman on suspicion of ingesting 180 pellets - or nearly five pounds - of heroin. Bola Adebisi, 52, was arrested Saturday after arriving March 14 on a flight from her native Nigeria in what U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials called the largest heroin internal seizure at the northern Virginia airport. Adebisi caught the attention of a female customs agent, who, while conducting a routine pat-down, discovered that Adebisi's stomach was abnormally rigid, officials said.  An X-ray at a hospital detected foreign bodies in her abdomen.
July 16, 2013 | By Yvonne Villarreal
"Glee" star Cory Monteith died of a "mixed drug toxicity" involving heroin and alcohol, according to results released Tuesday by the British Columbia Coroner's Service in Canada. The investigation is continuing, according to the release , but it went on to say the 31-year-old actor's death appears to be accidental.  "It should be noted that at this point there is no evidence to suggest Mr. Monteith's death was anything other than a most-tragic accident," the service, which performed the autopsy and toxicology test on Monday, noted in a statement.
August 22, 1986 | Associated Press
Felix Mitchell, a convicted California drug ring leader serving a life term at the federal prison here, died early today after being stabbed, prison officials said. Mitchell, 32, was found wounded in his cell by prison staff members about 3 p.m. Thursday and was taken to a local hospital. The Oakland man was convicted last year on charges of conspiracy to sell heroin and operating a continuing criminal enterprise.
April 16, 1987 | United Press International
A Nigeria Airways captain, his pockets and luggage bulging with an estimated $8-million worth of heroin, was arrested Wednesday by federal agents who impounded the jumbo jet he was trying to board, authorities said. Federal prosecutors said the captain, John Billy-Eko, 47, was not piloting the plane but arranged to be aboard as a crew member so he could pass more easily through customs. Assistant U.S. Atty.
December 13, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
New Jersey's heroin was found to be the purest in the nation for the second year in a row, a dubious distinction that has sparked concern in the medical and law enforcement communities. U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration tests of heroin samples obtained from New Jersey streets showed 71.4% purity in 2002, nearly twice the national average. In the 2003 report, due out soon, the state again will hold the top spot, DEA spokesman Rusty Payne told the Star-Ledger of Newark.
January 25, 1990
Eight people were arrested Wednesday on drug charges at a house that was allegedly used as a heroin distribution center. Inocente Rivera, 44, Sergio Sanchez, 21, and Jose Beltran, 22, all of La Habra, were arrested on suspicion of possession of narcotics with intent to sell after police searched a house in the 100 block of North Marian Street, La Habra Police Lt. Terry Ramell said.
September 19, 1985 | ROBERT W. STEWART, Times Staff Writer
A dose of heroin triggered comedian John Belushi's death in the midmorning hours of March 5, 1982, a pathologist testified Wednesday. Dr. Michael Baden, a deputy medical examiner for New York City, was called as a prosecution witness in the fourth day of a preliminary hearing for Cathy Evelyn Smith. Smith, 38, is charged with second-degree murder and 13 counts of drug furnishing in connection with the comedian's death at Chateau Marmont Hotel in Hollywood. Deputy Dist. Attys. Michael J.
July 31, 1996
An airline passenger was accused of trying to smuggle luggage packed with black tar heroin in one of the largest drug busts at John Wayne Airport, authorities said Tuesday. Juan Carlos Loya-Vallejo, 34, of Mexico was being held at Orange County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bail, said Lt. Tom Garner, spokesman for the Orange County Sheriff's Department.
October 31, 2000 | GRACE E. JANG
A 48-year-old Thai man pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of selling heroin at the Wat Thai Buddhist Temple, according to the U.S. attorney's office. Tanat Yuvavanich, identified as an occasional Los Angeles resident, may face up to 120 years in prison and $6 million in fines, said Thom Mrozek, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office. Trial was set for Dec. 5. Mrozek said temple officials have not been accused of any wrongdoing.
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