Maine drug cops say bad cocaine reaching state

Posted Feb. 16, 2010, at 9:41 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine drug police say that some of the illegal drug cocaine that is reaching the state has been contaminated with a drug used to treat parasites in farm animals.

Christopher Montagna of the Maine Health & Environmental testing lab says the drug levamisole first started showing up in Maine in 2008, but now it shows up in 30 percent to 50 percent of tested samples.

Sgt. Kevin Cashman of the Maine Drug Enforcement Agency tells the Portland Press Herald it’s “very, very dangerous.”

The drug is used to increase the volume of cocaine.

Some scientific studies believe it might give cocaine users a more intense high. Experts say it has killed at least three people in the U.S. and Canada and sickened more than 100 others.

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