Updated 12:05 AM EDT, Wed, May 12, 2021

Ebola Virus 2014 Outbreak News Update: New Jersey Man Arrested for 'Ebola' Heroin

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New Jersey police have arrested a man for selling more than 600 packs of heroin branded "Ebola," along with crack cocaine. 47-year-old Barnabas Davis AKA "Hammer" was allegedly peddling drugs out of the Ramada Inn in Tom Rivers. 

"Different dealers have different potencies and products. Many times they are labeled with catchy phrases," said Officer Ralph Stocco to the Daily News. "In the past we have had Bin Laden, Hello Kitty, D.O.A., Twin Towers, 911, gumball, pow, etc."

He explained that the drugs found, which included 663 wax folds of heroine and 40 grams of cocaine, used a variety of different brand names which made it easier for customers to buy a particular type of drug.

"It's usually a marketing tool for [dealers]," quoted Business Insider of Sergeant Shaun O'Keeffe, head of the special enforcement team, the narcotics division with the Toms River PD. 

"We have [drugs] stamped as the president, as the pope," he continued. "You name it, they stamp it." He has even seen packages labeled "O.D." but this is the first "Ebola" stamp he has seen.

While the branded heroine didn't actually contain the virus, Hammer is believed to have been capitalizing on the attention being placed on the Ebola virus outbreak, noted USA Today

The World Health Organization estimate that over 4,800 people have died from the deadly disease while nearly 10,000 people are infected. Of the West Africa outbreak, the worst-hit countries include Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone. 

Thomas Eric Duncan, a Liberian national, was the first Ebola patient to have been diagnosed in the United States and died due to the virus Oct. 8 in Dallas.

The operation began when the Street Crimes Unit of the Lakewood Township Police Department received a tip of a drug operation happening out of rear suites at the hotel. NBC10 Philadelphia detailed that a search warrant was then executed on Davis' hotel room.

"Hammer" was taken to Ocean County Jail in lieu of $300,000 bail and was charged with possession of heroin, possession of heroin with intent to distribute, possession of crack cocaine and possession of crack cocaine with intent to distribute.

To date, no information has been provided on Davis' legal representation and authorities indicated that the Ramada Inn had no involvement in the criminal happening from the hotel room.

"For perspective, the main hotel sits on the site and where this occurred is at a separate other building on the property as an 'extended stay suite.' It is 100 to 200 yards from the main hotel," clarified a hotel staff to Daily News. 

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