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CINCINNATI (AP) – An Ohio man has pleaded guilty to dealing heroin laced with a drug so powerful it’s used to tranquilize elephants.

The government says Phillip Watkins of Cincinnati pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiring to distribute heroin laced with carfentanil.

Prosecutors say the 32-year-old Watkins also pleaded guilty to attempting to murder a witness he believed was going to testify against him at trial.

A charge of selling drugs that led to a fatal overdose was dropped.

Watkin faces up to 25 years in prison. His attorney, Herbert Haas, said Watkins takes responsibility for his actions.

Veterinarians used the drug carfentanil to immobilize large animals, including elephants.

The state Health Department says carfentanil was involved in 340 overdose deaths last year.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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