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3 die of apparent heroin overdoses in Santa Barbara

August 11, 2010 |  3:05 pm

Three Santa Barbara residents apparently have died of heroin overdoses in three days, leading police to theorize that dealers are selling an unusually potent strain of the drug.

Ordinarily, only "a few’’ such deaths occur in a year, according to a Santa Barbara Police Department spokesman.

Two men -- one age 20 and one 31 -- died in separate incidents Friday. Two days later, a 30-year-man died in a downtown residence. The man’s uncle said both he and his nephew had been using heroin.

Police said test results in the three cases had not yet been completed, but other evidence at the scenes pointed to use of the drug.

-- Steve Chawkins