New York should get a special DEA team to battle heroin trafficking in the state, Sen. Chuck Schumer said Sunday.
There were 1,374 fatal drug overdoses in the city last year, a 47% jump from 2015, according to data released by the Health Department last week. Heroin was involved in more than half of the deaths.
The Drug Enforcement Administration has identified the city as a major distribution hub for heroin mills, with drugs smuggled through Kennedy Airport for sale across the Northeast.
The recently passed 2017 federal budget includes $12.5 million for the DEA to launch four new enforcement teams with 42 agents, in areas throughout the country that report heroin as the highest drug threat.
“New York’s rampant heroin epidemic proves we are in urgent need of one of the four special heroin enforcement teams being launched in states throughout the country,” he said. The Daily News launched a series last month dubbed “Opioid Nation” chronicling the growing epidemic.