NEW YORK, N.Y. — A Lakewood, Colorado man is in a New York jail after police seized 17 bags filled with fentanyl from a New York City hotel room.
Authorities in Manhattan say they arrested and charged Carlos Ramirez on June 19 with possessing millions of doses of the powerful synthetic opioid.
Raids undertaken by agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) focused on Ramirez's car and hotel room in the Melrose neighborhood of the Bronx.
According to law enforcement authorities, this is the largest seizure of fentanyl by the New York division of the DEA in the agency's existence.
"They seized (40) pounds of deadly fentanyl, casually tossed on top of a vending machine in a Bronx hotel hallway, the largest single recovery of fentanyl by the DEA in New York," Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan said.
According to DEA officials, the drug is about 50 times more powerful than heroin and is often mixed into drugs distributed throughout the nation.
“It is a fact, opioid traffickers are mixing heroin with fentanyl because it is more potent and more profitable. In turn, heroin users are putting their lives in drug dealers’ hands every time they buy a bag. A fatal dose of fentanyl is only two to three milligrams," DEA Special Agent in Charge James Hunt said.
Based on DEA facts, the man's alleged stash of fentanyl could have produced over 7 million overdoses.
Currently, Ramirez faces four charges related to criminal possession of a controlled substance. He's being held in jail on $200,000 bond or $100,000 cash.