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Authorities seize more than 2,000 lbs of fentanyl in New York
Photo by JOHANNES EISELE/AFP via Getty Images

Authorities seize more than 2,000 lbs of fentanyl in New York

More than one ton of fentanyl was seized in the state of New York in 2021.

This, unsurprisingly, sets a new record for the amount of the synthetic opioid confiscated by law enforcement.

According to new data from the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), 2,420 pounds of fentanyl in total were seized in New York, with 95 percent of the haul — around 2,300 pounds — coming from New York City, the New York Post reported.

This total represents a 206 percent increase over the previous record set in 2020 — 790 pounds.

Tim Foley, the acting special agent for the New York Division of the DEA, said, “Throughout my 30 years in law enforcement, I have never seen anything with greater killing power.”

Overdose deaths in New York City have been steadily rising each quarter since 2018, and they peaked in the first quarter of 2021 with 596 recorded overdoses.

More than 100,000 Americans died from overdosing on drugs throughout 2021, which indicates a 29 percent overall increase in just one year.

Fentanyl is increasingly found in New York City in what is described as a “ready-to-ingest” pill form that is “designed to look like legitimate OxyContin, Vicodin or Adderall, among other prescription drugs.”

In 2021, the DEA of New York seized 82,087 fentanyl pills. This is a fourfold increase from the 19,378 fentanyl pills seized in 2020.

The DEA believes that the chemicals required to make the synthetic opioid are being sourced from China, but the pills are being made in Mexico and trafficked into the United States by criminal networks based out of Mexico.

The DEA said, “Criminal drug networks in Mexico are mass-producing deadly fentanyl and fentanyl-laced fake prescription pills, using chemicals sourced largely from China.”

The Commission Combatting Synthetic Opioid Trafficking released a multi-agency federal report last month that referred to the constant influx of fentanyl as “a slow-motion weapon of mass destruction.’

The Commission’s report demanded that steps be taken to stop the flow of “precursors chemicals” used to make the drugs from China into Mexico.

The report said, “The expansion of [China’s] chemical and pharmaceutical sectors has outpaced the government’s efforts to regulate them, creating opportunities for unscrupulous vendors to export chemicals needed in [fentanyl’s] illegal manufacture.”

The Commission’s report blames the ongoing fentanyl crisis on the widespread addiction to prescription painkillers, it connects this crisis to the Food and Drug Administration approving OxyContin in 1995.

OxyContin was “falsely marketed as an easy, nonaddictive fix for pain” and drug overdoses in America have “steadily climbed” since the decision to approve it for distribution.”

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