What to Know
- Four men have been indicted following what police say was a record seizure of fentanyl in New Jersey
- Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid 50 times stronger than heroin and has been blamed for a rising number of overdose deaths across the country
- Earlier this month, NYC announced two huge fentanyl busts; one netted 32 million lethal doses of the drug, authorities say
Four men have been indicted following what police say was a record seizure of fentanyl, a synthetic opioid 50 times stronger than heroin, in New Jersey.
Officials say the nearly 100 pounds of the drug that was seized by the New Jersey State Police in North Bergen and Willingboro in June could have yielded more than 18 million doses.
The previous record was about 31 pounds of fentanyl seized in Camden in March.
Attorney General Christopher Porrino says dealers are lacing heroin with fentanyl to boost its potency. Porrino says it is a "deadly poison."
State officials say there were 417 overdose deaths from fentanyl in New Jersey in 2015 and 394 overdose deaths from fentanyl and fentanyl analogs in the first six months of 2016.
The New Jersey bust follows an epic seizure in New York City, during which authorities confiscated nearly 195 pounds of the highly potent drug in a pair of busts. One of the stings netted 32 million lethal doses of the drug. Four people were arrested.
New York City's five boroughs saw overdose deaths hit an all-time high in 2016, and when the seizure was announced earlier this month, Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan talked about the growing epidemic.
"The sheer volume of fentanyl pouring into the city is shocking," Brennan 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."