[Ed. – Cracking down on the opioid epidemic]
Authorities confiscated nearly 195 pounds of fentanyl in a pair of busts that prosecutors said included one sting that netted 32 million lethal doses of the drug, an opioid 50 times stronger than heroin.
Four people were arrested after the busts in August and September that also netted 75 pounds of heroin and cocaine. Bridget G. Brennan, New York City’s special narcotics prosecutor, said the busts come as overdose deaths hit an all-time high in New York’s five boroughs in 2016.
“The sheer volume of fentanyl pouring into the city is shocking,” she said. “It’s not only killing a record number of people in New York City, but the city is used as a hub of regional distribution for a lethal substance that is taking thousands of lives throughout the Northeast.”
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In the first bust, on Aug. 1, 2017, police and federal agents seized more than 140 pounds of fentanyl — the most in the city’s history — after watching Rogelio Alvardo-Robles and Blanca Flores-Solis receive what appeared to to be a package of cocaine from an unknown trafficker at a Walmart in Manhawkin, New Jersey.