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New York Should Get Special DEA Team to Combat Heroin Sales, Schumer Says

By Nicholas Rizzi | June 19, 2017 2:43pm
 Sen. Charles Schumer called on the DEA to launch a special team to crack down on heroin trafficking in New York.
Sen. Charles Schumer called on the DEA to launch a special team to crack down on heroin trafficking in New York.
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DNAinfo/Nicholas Rizzi

NEW YORK CITY — Sen. Charles Schumer called on the Drug Enforcement Administration to launch a special team to crack down on heroin distribution in the state.

Schumer said the agency should deploy one of their four new "Heroin Enforcement Teams" to New York to stop trafficking of the drug, as the city continues to be plagued by an opioid epidemic.

The enforcement team would assign 42 agents to the area, including 32 special agents, according to Schumer.

"Recent increases in drug busts, overdoses and emergency calls across New York City and Long Island all tied to heroin tell the story of an epidemic that needs more attention and action by the feds to foil," the senator said in a statement.

"New York’s rampant heroin epidemic proves we are in desperate need of one of the four special heroin enforcement teams being launched throughout the country."

Last year, overdose deaths across the city increased by 46 percent largely due to opioids, according to the city's Department of Mental Health.

The South Bronx and Staten Island were hit the hardest in the city, with The Bronx having the most total overdoses in the city and Staten Island having the highest per capita rate in the five boroughs, according to the data.

READ MORE: Families Torn Apart By Opioid Epidemic

The DEA's New York field officers have identified JFK Airport as an major entry hub for heroin mills to distribute to the Northeast region, Schumer said.

The recently passed federal budget includes $12.5 million to the DEA to create four of the new teams in areas where heroin is the highest drug threat.