Fentanyl seizure contained enough doses to kill New Jersey and NYC's entire population

A New Jersey Superior Court Judge last week sentenced two men for possessing nearly 100 pounds of fentanyl, amounting to more than 18 million lethal doses of the extremely potent synthetic opioid.

New Jersey police seized 45 kilograms of the drug from the men in June 2017, marking the largest fentanyl seizure ever in the state. At 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, just two to three milligrams of the substance can yield a lethal dose.

"Many lives were undoubtedly saved as a result of this record-setting fentanyl seizure by the New Jersey State Police," said Gurbir Grewal, New Jersey attorney general. "The 100 pounds of fentanyl trafficked into our state by these drug dealers could have generated enough lethal doses to kill the entire populations of New Jersey and New York City combined. Because dealers use this super-potent opioid to boost heroin and create counterfeit oxy pills, drug users are left to play a deadly game of Russian roulette each time they give way to their addiction."

The two men pleaded guilty to charges of drug possession with intent to distribute in December of last year. The judge sentenced 28-year-old Daniel Vasquez of Somerton, Ariz., to six years in state prison on Jan. 24. On Jan. 26, the judge sentenced 31-year-old Jesus Carrillo-Pineda of Philadelphia to 10 years in prison.

In 2015, New Jersey experienced 417 fentanyl-related drug overdose deaths. In 2016, this number almost doubled to 800 such deaths. 

More articles on opioids: 
FDA, FTC crack down on unapproved opioid cessation products: 3 things to know 
Americans spent nearly $800M in 2 years on illegal fentanyl from China: 5 things to know 
DEA loosens regulations, allows NPs and PAs to prescribe meds for opioid addiction: 4 things to know

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