Feds: Nearly 40 pounds of fentanyl seized in massive New York bust

NEW YORK — Officials are describing the seizure of nearly 40 pounds of fentanyl in the Bronx as the largest fentanyl bust in New York history.

According to a press release from New York City’s special narcotics prosecutor, Colorado resident Carlos Ramirez, 25, was arrested June 19 after a narcotics investigation by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration uncovered a massive amount of the highly synthetic opioid near his hotel room.

Members of the DEA’s New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force Financial Investigations Team, a task force comprised of local, state and federal officers and agents, were conducting surveillance around 11:40 p.m. that night when they saw Ramirez open up the rear door of a car and place a “cylindrical package wrapped in black tape” inside. Agents and officers approached Ramirez, who told them he had come from a hotel across the street and gave them his room number.

Agents entered the Umbrella hotel and as they approached Ramirez’s room on the seventh floor, they say they noticed a black duffel bag sitting on top of a vending machine, according to the release. Inside there were 17 packages taped in the same way as the package recovered from the car. One package was punctured and officers could see a tan powdery substance inside, resembling heroin.

Laboratory testing determined the substance wasn’t heroin, but fentanyl, a synthetic opioid “approximately 50 times stronger than heroin increasingly found mixed into the illicit narcotics supply in New York City” and driving a spike in fatal overdoses, the release says.

Image of nearly 40 pounds of Fentanyl seized from a New York City hotel June 19, 2017

NYC Special Narcotics prosecutor

“It is a fact, opioid traffickers are mixing heroin with fentanyl because it is more potent and more profitable. In turn, heroin users are putting their lives in drug dealers’ hands every time…

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