A drug bust in New York City is making headlines after U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and law enforcement officials found enough fentanyl to kill two million people.
Authorities raided the Westchester County, New York home on Friday where they arrested 31-year-old Braulio Mata, of Ardsley, 44-year-old Jose Garcia, of Ardsley, 47-year-old Ramon Aracena Alfe, of Mount Vernon, 32-year-old Dionell Duarte Hernandez, of New York, and 20-year-old Yarly Mendoza-Delorbe, of Ardsley, ABC News reports.
According to the report, authorities seized five kilograms of Fentanyl and another six kilograms of heroin.
Speaking on the New York division task force, DEA Special Agent Ray Donovan said: “The fentanyl alone has the potency to kill nearly over two million people. I commend the men and women in the Task Force and Tactical Diversion Squad for their quick and efficient investigation into this organization and their diligence to the safety of the residents living nearby.”
Here’s more on the arrests:
The owner of the house told ABC station WABC he rented the split level home in December to a couple who moved from the Bronx but says he was unaware of any illegal activity.
The Ardsley raid was conducted by a task force that included the DEA, Westchester County police, Orangetown police, the Rockland County Sheriff’s Office, Yonkers police, and the Putnam County Sheriff’s Department.
The targeting of supply streams of fentanyl is part of a nationwide campaign to stem the flow of fentanyl, which has exacerbated a nationwide epidemic of opioid overdoses when it is used to strengthen the potency of more common street drugs like heroin and prescription pills like oxycodone.
Fentanyl seizure operations have become more prevalent since the Trump administration declared war on the opioid crisis taking seemingly countless lives across the country.
“Earlier this week, two California men who operated a similar drug mill out of a Michigan condominium were sentenced to prison. In the summer of 2017, authorities seized 10 kilograms of pure fentanyl and 20 kilograms of heroin-laced fentanyl, and more than a half million in cash. The seizure contained enough fentanyl to kill ten million people, federal authorities said,” ABC News reports.
Last week, a 75-year-old New York doctor was convicted of conspiracy to distribute oxycodone and fentanyl after authorities charged that he wrote more than one million prescriptions for oxycodone over three years between 2015 and 2017. Hundreds of fentanyl sprays were seized from the doctor’s home, along with about $729,000 in cash, officials said.
“Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent,” Drug Facts reports.
The drug is mostly synthetically produced by Chinese labs and is smuggled across the southern border with Mexico.