Author Archives: Thomas Nugent

Online Sales of Illegal Opioids from China Surge in U.S.

New York Times - Nearly $800 million worth of fentanyl pills were illegally sold to online customers in the United States over two years by Chinese distributors who took advantage of internet anonymity and an explosive growth in e-commerce, according to a Senate report released on Wednesday.

A yearlong Senate investigation found that American buyers of the illegal drugs lived mostly in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Florida. The Chinese sellers primarily used Bitcoin, the digital currency, as their preferred method of payment and shipped the drugs through other countries to reduce the risk of the opioids being seized by customs officials, …

Brooklyn woman glad NYPD nabbed her grandson in NYCHA drug gang bust: ‘Let them keep him’

Daily News - Shirley Gerard, though fighting back tears, showed zero sympathy for the drug gang corralled Friday in the Sheepshead Bay and Nostrand Houses — including her grandson.

Matthew (MZ) Gerard, 32, was one of 18 suspects charged in a crackdown on dope dealers in the New York City Housing Authority homes. Authorities broke down Shirley’s apartment door in their hunt for her kin.

“I raised Matthew and his brother as best I could,” said Gerard (photo), a 75-year-old lung cancer patient who struggled to catch her breath. “They got him. Let them keep him.”

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NYCHA staffer let gang use Brooklyn apartment as drug den, prosecutors say

Daily News - A NYCHA employee provided gang members access to a public housing apartment in Brooklyn so they could make it the headquarters for a drug ring that sold everything from crack to heroin, prosecutors charged Friday.

Housing authority caretaker Shakina Rowe, 27, was charged Friday along with 17 others, including two other NYCHA staffers who bought marijuana from the drug-den apartment while in uniform and during work hours.

The city Department of Investigation discovered yet again a problem that’s afflicted NYCHA for some time: tenants “permanently excluded” for committing crimes on NYCHA property who move right back in …

Staten Island’s overdose death toll dropped 26% in 2017 — with Naloxone saving 286 potential victims

Daily News - The number of Staten Island’s fatal drug overdoses plunged dramatically in 2017, aided by use of the opioid antidote Naloxone to resuscitate 286 potential victims.

The death toll fell from 116 in 2016 to 86 in 2017, a steep drop of roughly 26%, according to preliminary numbers released Thursday by the NYPD and the Staten Island District Attorney.

“Each of those 86 lives lost should serve as a continued reminder of the five-alarm fire we face in dealing with this drug epidemic,” said the borough’s chief prosecutor, Michael McMahon. “This battle is far from over.”

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Authorities Are Cracking Down on Opioid-Peddling Doctors

Associated Press (PITTSBURGH) — The pain clinic tucked into the corner of a low-slung suburban strip mall was an open secret.

Patients would travel hundreds of miles to see Dr. Andrzej Zielke, eager for what authorities described as a steady flow of prescriptions for the kinds of powerful painkillers that ushered the nation into its worst drug crisis in history.

At least one of Zielke’s patients died of an overdose, and prosecutors say others became so dependent on oxycodone and other opioids they would crowd his office, sometimes sleeping in the waiting room. Some peddled their pills near tumble-down storefronts …

State ad campaign warns of bogus referral schemes for addiction treatment centers

Daily News - State officials on Wednesday launched a new campaign to protect people struggling with substance abuse from being victimized by bogus referral services.

The state, working with New York Association of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers, is distributing posters to treatment centers around the state warning patients about “patient brokering” - a practice where brokers collect payments from addiction treatment providers in exchange for referring patients to those programs.

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