NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Investigators in the Bronx scored a major victory against drug traffickers, dismantling an operation stretching from Mexico to the northeast.
The packages were already stamped “paid.”
The deadly drugs were on their way to be delivered when investigators made a lifesaving interception.
“Today’s fentanyl is deadly and it is real,” DEA special agent Ray Donovan said.
Investigators say the 50 pounds of fentanyl they confiscated were headed to the Bronx and other parts of the northeast. The amount was lethal enough to kill everyone in New York City.
“In this investigation we were able to go beyond the dealer selling glassines in the McKinley houses, beyond his suppliers, beyond the major distributor, all the way to the Mexican national we tracked around the U.S.” Bronx district attorney Darcel Clark said.
On Wednesday, the Bronx District Attorney’s Office announced that 22 people had been indicted for taking part in selling the drugs.
Among the suspects indicted were three major traffickers accused of distributing the drugs from Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel to New York.
Rachel Marbach understands the impact of these arrests. Her husband died of an overdose.
“That’s where my husband was killed, in the Bronx, and my thought was is that where the fentanyl came from that killed Matt,” Marbach said.
Matthew Azimi was a school teacher in the borough. His body was found in 2017 with a syringe in the school bathroom.
“My family was destroyed when Matt died. I was 33, I was six months pregnant.”
Every month, an average of 20 Bronx residents die from overdoses. Marbach is relieved the suspects were caught this time before the drugs were ever delivered.
Investigators say some of the suspects also frequented drug treatment programs and may have targeted vulnerable people.