Schumer Seeks Fed Funds to Stop Smuggling of Fentanyl Through JFK Airport

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Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Sunday that he wants Congress to appropriate funding to stop the smuggling of fentanyl — a deadly drug — through John F. Kennedy Airport. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Sunday that he wants Congress to appropriate funding to stop the smuggling of fentanyl — a deadly drug — through John F. Kennedy Airport.

Mr. Schumer said that he wants at least one-third of the $16 million sum requested by President Donald Trump in the next budget to strengthen opioid detection at airports nationwide — sent to JFK.

“A lot of the Chinese fentanyl is sent through the mail. And where does most of it arrive? At the largest international mail-processing airport in the country — at Kennedy,” Mr. Schumer said Sunday at a Manhattan post office. “Then if it’s not detected it’s sent to various post offices where the drug dealers pick it up, lace the pills — the heroin, the other things — with deadly fentanyl. And you know the horror of the results.”

“Last year, more young people died of fentanyl than car accidents or anything else,” Mr. Schumer added. “So the bottom line is we’ve got to put a stamp ‘return to sender’ when deadly fentanyl arrives at JFK.”

“JFK should be our firewall in preventing fentanyl from being sent to the whole New York metropolitan area and the whole Northeast,” the New York Senator added. “We can’t do this too soon. Every day there’s more fentanyl coming in.”

An increasing number of blacks and Hispanics are dying from fatal overdoses on fentanyl, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

Non-Hispanic whites still have the most fentanyl overdoses, while the rate which Blacks have died from fentanyl overdoses has increased over 100 percent per year as of late.

From 2013 to 2016, fentanyl-related overdose deaths doubled each year, “rising at an exponential rate,” according to Merianne R. Spencer, the author of a CDC study released last month.

Fentanyl-related deaths from 2013 to 2016 increased on average 113 percent per year, according to Mrs. Spencer.

Jon DeLena, the Special Agent in Charge at the Drug Enforcement Agency’s New England Office, told NPR recently that one kilogram of fentanyl can be laced with other ingredients to make six to eight sellable kilograms of narcotics.

“I mean, imagine that business model,” Mr. DeLena said to one NPR reporter. “If you went to any small-business owner and said, ‘Hey, I have a way to make your product eight times the product that you have now,’ there’s a tremendous windfall in there.”

Drug dealers possibly could be adding fentanyl to cocaine and methamphetamine purposely to get their clients addicted to fentanyl, one expert told NPR.

“That’s something we have to consider,” said David Kelley, the Deputy Director of the New England High-Intensity Drug Trafficking Area. “The fact that we’ve had instances where it’s been present with different drugs leads one to believe that could be a possibility.”

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