Drug dealers jailed for possessing enough fentanyl ‘to kill 18 million people’

Drug dealers jailed for possessing enough fentanyl 'to kill 18 million people'

‘Lives undoubtedly saved’ by seizure of 45kg of synthetic opioid, says top lawyer Two drug dealers have been jailed for possessing enough of the synthetic opioid fentanyl to kill 18 million people.

Jesus Carrillo-Pineda and Daniel Vasquez were caught with 45kg of the drug, a super-strength opioid that is many times more potent than heroin.

Dealers mix fentanyl into cocaine or heroin, or use it to create fake painkiller pills – but due to its ability to kill even in tiny amounts addicts are playing “Russian roulette” every time they consume it, authorities said.

Two drug dealers have been jailed for possessing enough of the synthetic opioid fentanyl to kill 18 million people.

Jesus Carrillo-Pineda and Daniel Vasquez were caught with 45kg of the drug, a super-strength opioid that is many times more potent than heroin.

Dealers mix fentanyl into cocaine or heroin, or use it to create fake painkiller pills – but due to its ability to kill even in tiny amounts addicts are playing “Russian roulette” every time they consume it, authorities said.

Last week Carrillo-Pineda, 31, was jailed for 10 years for possessing heroin with intent to distribute, and a further seven years, to run concurrently, for possessing fentanyl with intent to distribute.

Vasquez, 28, was jailed for six years for possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute. Both men pleaded guilty in December following their arrests in June.

In 2015, fentanyl overdoses killed 417 people in New Jersey, and more than 800 in 2016, Mr Grewal’s office said. The drug is so potent that paramedics and police officers have suffered its effects while treating overdose victims, a statement added.

The US is in the grip of an opioid crisis, with attorney general Jeff Sessions announcing a new federal task force to tackle online dealing.

On Monday Mr Sessions said the Joint Criminal Opioid Darknet Enforcement team would more than double the FBI‘s investment in investigating online opioid trafficking.

Donald Trump also charged his new health secretary, Alex Azar, with being “very tough” on doctors and drug companies over the prescription of opioid-based prescription drugs.

Last autumn the Republican declared the crisis a public health emergency, saying that “we can be the generation that ends the opioid epidemic”.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, two-thirds of overdose deaths involve an opioid, with an average of 115 people dying per day.

The agency’s website says: “We now know that overdoses from prescription opioids are a driving factor in the 16-year increase in opioid overdose deaths.

“The amount of prescription opioids sold to pharmacies, hospitals, and doctors’ offices nearly quadrupled from 1999 to 2010, yet there had not been an overall change in the amount of pain that Americans reported.

“Deaths from prescription opioids – drugs like oxycodone, hydrocodone, and methadone – have more than quadrupled since 1999.”

http://www.independent.co.uk

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