New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says investigators confiscated more than 33 kilos of heroin, in one of New York's largest seizures ever of the drug. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION). Story: Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced on Friday (September 23) the indictment of more than two dozen people for their roles in an alleged national heroin smuggling ring. He said investigators seized more than 33 kilos of heroin and 2 kilos of Fentanyl, with a street value of more than $13 million, during the operation, which netted alleged traffickers across five states. At a news briefing Friday, he said the ring operated in New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Arizona. In addition to the heroin, investigators also seized cocaine, Fentanyl, handguns and vehicles. He emphasized that investigators arrested only drug dealers and traffickers, rather than users, as part of a multi-pronged effort to curb the growing abuse of opioids in the U.S. The effort is a final push during the waning months of the Obama administration to address the opioid crisis, which has hit certain states such as New Hampshire and West Virginia particularly hard and has surfaced as an issue in the November presidential election. Overdose deaths tied to opiates have skyrocketed in recent years in a widening epidemic involving growing abuse of heroin as well as prescription painkillers such as Vicodin, OxyContin and Percocet. The number of these deaths quadrupled to nearly 28,700 in 2014 from 2000, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data. Efforts to turn the tide have fallen short, pressuring local law enforcement and policymakers at every level to find a solution