Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced what he calls the biggest drug bust in history. Terry Stackhouse reports.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- It’s being called one of the biggest drug busts in state history. Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced Friday the largest heroin and fentanyl takedown in the 46-year history of New York’s Organized Crime Task Force.
In total, 25 people living in New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Arizona, and New Jersey have been indicted in connection with the case.
The investigation -- dubbed “Operation Dirty Dope'' -- led to the breakup of what Schneiderman's office calls a broad and sophisticated national heroin smuggling ring.
Drugs were allegedly moved from Mexico into Tucson, Arizona and from Arizona to New York City, and Pennsylvania. From there, traffickers are accused of moving the drugs to sell on Long Island and the town of Leominster, Massachusetts.
Schneiderman says heroin with a street value of $13 million was seized during the investigation.
The bust also included 300 grams of cocaine and two semi-automatic handguns, including one inscribed with the insignia of a Mexican drug cartel.
Schneiderman says the traffickers cut the heroin with other chemicals including chicken anesthetic, Novocain, nail polish remover, and roach killer -- then used addicts as “human guinea pigs” to test the cut of heroin.
“Used addicts as guinea pigs to test heroin laced with deadly cutting agents to see if it killed them -- deep level cynicism, callousness, astonishing and heartbreaking,” He said.
According to the AG’s office, those charged in the case as major traffickers, which are 8 of the 25 indicted, could face life in prison if convicted. All others could face 8 to 25 years behind bars.