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Local DEA office reports 15 have died so far in 2015 from heroin overdoses

Fifteen deaths since the first of the year.

And that’s on top of the 46 people who died last year of heroin and fentanyl overdoses.

A federal drug enforcement agent used those figures Wednesday to emphasize the dangers of one of Buffalo’s trendiest drugs and the number of lives it claims by the day.

“Those are alarming statistics," said Michelle Y. Spahn, resident agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in Buffalo.

Spahn’s comments followed the arrest of two men suspected of selling heroin to a person who later died of an overdose.

U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. said the arrest of John Haak and Francis Tessina underscores the dangers of the heroin and fentanyl-laced heroin being sold on the streets of Western New York.

Hochul, who has made a point of publicly issuing warnings about heroin, displayed a box of rat poison and suggested the heroin being bought by addicts is all too often fatal.

“You’re doing almost the same thing as injecting yourself with rat poison," he said Wednesday.

Haak and Tessina appeared Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeremiah McCarthy.