It appears as though the black market drug trade is attempting to capitalize from the latest American panic, by distributing a brand of heroin across parts of the East Coast aptly named, “Ebola.” Although most of the country lives in fear of the possibility of contracting this deadly disease, the hardcore drug culture sometimes finds solace in shooting their veins up with brown medicine that comes with a plague-like guarantee to put them on the nod.
Morbid marketing schemes such as these is what led police in New Jersey to encounter 47-year-old Barnabas Davis, who they arrested earlier this week for possession of over 600 personal-size packages of heroin stamped with the worldwide disease of the week – Ebola.
According to reports, authorities in Toms River received an anonymous tip that Davis was slinging dope out of a local Ramada Inn. When investigators arrived on the scene, a search warrant of the suspect’s room uncovered a stockpile of trademarked heroin and crack cocaine.
Toms River Police Officer Ralph Stocco told The Daily News that while it is not uncommon for law enforcement to run into branded illegal drugs, this particular incident was the first time his department saw the name Ebola associated with controlled substances. “Different dealers have different potencies and products. Many times they are labeled with catchy phrases,” he said. “In the past we have had Bin Laden, Hello Kitty, D.O.A., Twin Towers, 911, gumball, pow, etc.”
Davis was booked at the Ocean County Jail on charges of possession of heroin and crack cocaine, as well as for intent to distribute. He is currently being held on a $300,000 bond.
Interestingly, a story from The Washington Post indicates that branding illegal drugs with the names of deadly viruses is not a new concept. In 2007, rapper Gucci Mane released an album and song entitled “Bird Flu,” in which the context of the word “Bird” was a reference to cocaine.