Police busted another major drug ring supplying large quantities of heroin, fentanyl and prescription painkillers to Staten Island in New York City.
Authorities arrested nine individuals from Staten Island on charges of distribution of heroin and oxycodone and could face prison sentences of up to 20 years. Officials in the region said the trafficking operation is linked to a string of fatal overdoses over the past several months in the area. One of the suspects, Carol Monforte, 57, of Staten Island, was arrested by authorities in Arizona, reports PIX 11.
The group also trafficked in fentanyl, an opiate-based painkiller often cut up into heroin supplies to add potency. Fentanyl is known to be roughly 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine and can be fatal to anyone who comes into contact with it.
“These defendants allegedly pushed heroin and oxycodone for months, contributing to the opioid plague that has caused great suffering on Staten Island,” U.S. Attorney Robert L. Capers said in a statement. “Today’s arrests demonstrate this Office’s commitment to marshal all available resources necessary to investigate and prosecute those who peddle these highly addictive narcotics in our communities.”
Law enforcement is making progress in their fight against major drug traffickers in the region. Earlier in the month police busted a massive drug operation that also distributed heroin cut with fentanyl in Staten Island, causing the overdose death of a pregnant woman. Amanda Dimarinis, one of those arrested in the bust, was a teacher at local middle school I.S. 49 and allegedly sold heroin cut with fentanyl on the property during her lunch breaks.
A joint investigation between the Bronx District Attorney’s Office, the New York City Police Department and the Drug Enforcement Agency over eight months culminated in a massive drug bust Jan. 31. Police arrested 32 people involved in an international heroin distribution ring, seizing more than 100 pounds of opioids worth roughly $22 million.
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.
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