The recent attempt of the powerful Mexican Sinaloa drug cartel to transport drugs into the United States failed after a suspected Mexican drug kingpin was indicted for smuggling 20 kilograms of fentanyl into New York City, enough to kill 10 million people. The mastermind, Francisco Quiroz-Zamora, 41, also known as “Gordo” or the Fat One has also been charged with selling a controlled substance and second-degree conspiracy.
According to officials from the New York’s Special Narcotics Prosecutor, who made the announcement about the alleged drug bust on March 27, 2018, Quiroz-Zamora was involved in every aspect of the drug trafficking and organized a pipeline to transport drugs from Mexico to Arizona and California through cars, trucks and drug couriers. He also authorized transactions between customers and drug dealers.
His plans to turn New York City into the distribution hub were thwarted in 2017 when Quiroz-Zamora arrived to secure money from an undercover agent posing as a drug dealer. Later that year, the authorities confiscated some of the fentanyl from a Bronx hotel where the drugs were put inside a duffel bag and left on a vending machine. In another incident, the authorities discovered 5 pounds of the drug along with $12,000 cash and a loaded gun from a posh apartment on Central Park West. The apartment was being used as a stash house.
In a statement made by DEA Special Agent in Charge James Hunt, “This investigation provides the American public with an inside view of a day in the life of a Sinaloa Cartel drug trafficker; including international travel, money pick-ups, and clandestine meetings.”
Fentanyl-related fatalities on the rise
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid and powerful anesthetic that is 50-100 times more potent than heroin and morphine. Similar to heroin and other opioids, fentanyl works by binding to the body’s opioid receptors, driving up the dopamine levels in the brain and flooding it with a sense of euphoria and relaxation. Its short-term effects include confusion, nausea and drowsiness, and an overdose can result in coma, respiratory failure and death. The drug is often manufactured in clandestine laboratories primarily in China and Mexico, and transported via Southwest American border or through mail. As per the authorities, one of the main reasons behind its rapid spread is the high-profit margin it offers to drug dealers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that most of the fentanyl-related deaths in last few years did not involve prescription fentanyl but the illicitly made drug often laced with heroin. Out of more than 64,000 drug overdose cases reported in 2016, fentanyl and its analogs were responsible for over 20,000 deaths. Given the recent rise in overdose deaths caused by opioids, in February 2018, the U.S. Department of Justice announced the creation of a new task force to target opioid manufacturers and distributors, and hold them accountable for unlawful practices.
Holistic approach to treat heroin addiction
A leading behavioral and substance abuse treatment center, Sovereign Health offers long-term care for addiction-related disorders, including fentanyl and heroin addiction in a safe and trigger-free environment. Drug addiction treatment at our state-of-the-art rehab centers combines residential detox followed by a range of alternative therapies and counseling sessions. We also impart necessary life skills to the patients to help them adapt to normal life once the treatment is complete. To get connected to our heroin abuse treatment centers and learn more about the programs offered, call our 24/7 helpline number or chat online with a representative.
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