Fentanyl Becomes “Number One Problem” for New York DEA
Last month, federal agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in New York City seized forty pounds of fentanyl from a man in a Bronx hotel—the largest bust of fentanyl in the state’s history (Greene, 2017). New York’s DEA agents are citing fentanyl as a major problem.
After receiving “$12.5 million in federal funding to track opioids across the United States,” DEA agents have begun using helicopters for aerial investigations into fentanyl mills and shipping routes in New York City (Gaita, 2017). Through these they have found that “the drug has become a pervasive presence in New York—from locations in the Bronx to upscale apartments in Central Park West” (Gaita, 2017).
“We’re seeing the bad guys going into nice neighborhoods because they don’t have to worry about getting robbed by competing traffickers. All you need is a room to set up a drug mill, and traffickers are looking for anonymity. Right now, they have too much competition in Washington Heights and the Bronx,” said James Hunt, the special agent in charge of the DEA’s New York division (Gaita, 2017).
Fentanyl was responsible for 44 percent of New York City’s overdose deaths in 2016, which is significantly higher than the 16 percent of the previous year (Gaita, 2017).
Gaita, P. (2017). Fentanyl mills found throughout New York City by DEA. Retrieved from https://www.thefix.com/fentanyl-mills-found-throughout-new-york-city-dea
Greene, L. (2017). Feds intercept largest ever fentanyl haul in New York City as they bust Colorado man at Bronx hotel. Retrieved from http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/bronx/feds-intercept-largest-fentanyl-haul-new-york-city-article-1.3375316