Authorities indicted four men after they were busted with enough lethal doses of the potent opioid fentanyl to wipe out the populations of both New York City and New Jersey.
New Jersey Attorney General Christopher Porrino announced the charges Friday, revealing that State Police in North Bergen and Willingboro seized 99 pounds of the synthetic painkiller, which is roughly 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine, during a drug bust June 28. Officials said it was the largest seizure of fentanyl in state history and could have been used to create roughly 18 million lethal doses of the substance, reports NJ.com.
Police in the state previously set the record during a drug raid in Camden in March, seizing 31 pounds of fentanyl. Porrino warned the “deadly poison” is being cut into narcotics supplies throughout the state.
“I am desperately urging heroin users to seek treatment now more than ever, as their next dose could be their last,” Porrino said in a statement Friday. “Fentanyl is so deadly that just these 45 kilos of fentanyl could have yielded enough lethal doses to kill the entire populations of New Jersey and New York City combined.”
The record setting bust comes on the heels of an Aug. 1 raid by Drug Enforcement Agents in New York City that yielded 140 pounds of fentanyl, enough to kill 32 million people, or roughly 10 percent of the U.S. population. Bridget Brennan, New York City’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor, announced the record haul Sept. 18, along with the additional seizure of 55 pounds of fentanyl and 75 pounds of heroin and cocaine during a separate raid Sept. 5.
Authorities estimate that the 270 pounds of total narcotics seized in New York City over the past month carries a street value of more than $30 million.
“The sheer volume of fentanyl pouring into the city is shocking,” Brennan said in a statement released Sept. 5. “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.”
Fentanyl is blamed as the primary driver of drug overdose deaths in the U.S., which killed 64,070 Americans in 2016.
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