On Monday, Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agents arrested four alleged members of a New York City fentanyl-trafficking group operating near Central Park.
The members were in possession of nearly 20 pounds of suspected fentanyl and heroin worth at least $3 million. Because of the fentanyl’s potency, the drugs could be worth much more.
“The volume of heroin and highly potent fentanyl entering New York City is staggering, but so is the amount being removed from the streets as a result of successful collaborations between law enforcement partners,” stated Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan. “In this case millions of dollars in suspected heroin and fentanyl was seized just steps from Central Park, a top destination for New Yorkers and tourists alike.”
Drug dealers often mix fentanyl, which is around 50 times stronger than heroin, into the city’s illicit narcotics. According to Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent in Charge James Hunt, fentanyl is the deadliest street drug to ever affect NYC.
“This seizure alone contains enough potency to kill half of the population of New York City, if laboratory analysis proves it is all fentanyl,” he added.
Before making the drug bust, DEA agents watching a building in Central Park West saw David Rodriguez, one of the members, getting into an Uber. They followed him, stopping the car 15 blocks later. In the car, they found packages containing suspected fentanyl and heroin.
Both Rodriguez and the driver were immediately arrested.
Later that day, Special Narcotics agents arrested two more men at their apartment, finding about 3 kilograms of a suspected fentanyl and heroin combination inside a hall closet. They also confiscated a loaded .25-caliber Beretta pistol along with 1,100 individual-dose glassine envelopes filled with powder and stamped with the brand name “UBER.”
All four men arrested have been hit with controlled substance and conspiracy charges.
Featured image via Wikimedia Commons