Nearly a dozen Albanian members of a Staten Island-based drug gang were arrested early Wednesday on federal charges of distributing heroin and fentanyl throughout Staten Island, Brooklyn and New Jersey, law enforcement officials told News 4.
Ten men and a woman were accused of pumping heroin and fentanyl onto New York City and New Jersey for nearly three years, storing drags in Staten Island and Brooklyn and distributing them throughout the region between 2015 and 2018.
"These defendants created a network spanning New York City and into New Jersey for the distribution of highly addictive and dangerous drugs," said interim U.S. Attorney Geoffrey Berman. "Even after they realized the potency of the drugs they were distributing and selling – and the overdose risk those drugs posed – the defendants allegedly continued to sell their poison and to fuel the opioid epidemic plaguing our nation."
Authorities said that in one instance, one of the suspects arrested in the conspiracy overdosed on fentanyl-laced heroin, but they continued to sell the drugs anyway.
A task force of DEA agents, NYPD detectives and members of other federal and state agencies made the arrests and executed federal search warrants at several locations, the officials said.
All those arrested face up to life in prison if convicted.