Police busted a massive drug operation that distributed heroin cut with fentanyl on school property and caused the overdose death of a pregnant woman.
The distribution ring moved heroin and the powerful painkiller fentanyl between New Jersey and Staten Island, where the dealers pushed the product in neighborhoods and on the property of a middle school. Police arrested five individuals in connection with the operation, including the fiancé of a 25-year-old pregnant woman who suffered a fatal overdose in March. That overdose sparked the 11-month investigation. Two men and three woman all under the age of 30 are facing felony drug charges for distributing the narcotics, reports NBC New York.
Amanda Dimarinis, one of those arrested Tuesday, is a teacher at local middle school I.S. 49 and allegedly sold heroin cut with fentanyl on the property during her lunch breaks. Fentanyl is a deadly painkiller often mixed into heroin to give it increased potency and is known to be 50 to 100 times stronger than morphine.
“This take down puts a crimp in the pipeline of heroin and fentanyl being funneled into Staten Island,” District Attorney Michael McMahon said in a statement. “We will continue to investigate every tragic overdose and hold dealers accountable for the lives and families they have destroyed.”
Jessica Chaikin is the alleged supplier of the operation, transporting the substances to Staten Island from Edison Township, N.J. Police executed search warrants at three separate properties, finding 400 baggies of heroin, cocaine and $11,000 in cash. New York experienced a 135.7 percent increase in synthetic opioid and heroin deaths between 2014 and 2015, one of the largest increases for a state.
A group of activist rallied in Buffalo Tuesday to push state lawmakers to legalize marijuana in an effort to combat rising heroin abuse and create safer alternatives to prescription opioids.
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