The Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor (SNP) works collaboratively with New York City’s elected District Attorneys to investigate and prosecute felony narcotics cases across all five boroughs of the city.
We share the common goals of protecting city residents and ensuring our criminal justice system is fair for all. Built on a task force model, SNP has authority to prosecute felony cases involving narcotics, including heroin, fentanyl, cocaine, and addictive pills, and related crimes such as weapons sales and possession. New York City is unique in many ways, including its division into five separate boroughs, each with its own District Attorney empowered to prosecute crimes committed there. The city is also a major hub of international narcotics importation. Each drug shipment has a single point of entry through one of the five boroughs but may be distributed to all. SNP was created in 1971 and empowered under New York State’s Judiciary Laws to address this free flow of narcotics across county lines and drug-related violence.
Bridget G. Brennan,
Special Narcotics Prosecutor
Under Ms. Brennan’s leadership, the office has developed expertise to meet challenges posed by each new phase of the deadly opioid epidemic. Ms. Brennan established the Heroin Trafficking Interdiction Unit, the Prescription Drug Investigation Unit, the Digital Forensic Unit, the Narcotics Gang Unit and the Money Laundering and Financial Investigation Unit.
Ms. Brennan has worked to raise public awareness about the heighten risk of overdose, most recently linked to lethal synthetic opioid drugs that saturate the supply of narcotics in New York City.
SNP implements a strategic approach to protecting the public and saving lives that reduces arrests and incarceration. This approach is consistent with SNP’s commitment to promoting fairness and justice. By intercepting large amounts of lethal narcotics at the top of the supply chain, and investigating and prosecuting high-level traffickers, SNP prevents countless overdoses and street-level arrests.
In order to fulfill its public safety mission and reduce arrests and incarceration, SNP developed a multi-pronged approach to strategic enforcement that includes Supply Reduction, Overdose Death Investigations, Prescription Drug Investigations, Community Impact and Treatment Alternatives.
As its central mission, SNP works to prevent overdose deaths by removing bulk quantities of dangerous drugs from the highest levels of the supply chain. New York City serves as a regional hub for the distribution of narcotics produced by international trafficking organizations. Drug shipments flow through the city to local distributors and organizations in surrounding states.
Overdose Death Investigations
By investigating overdose deaths, SNP and its partners seek to identify organizations that supply lethal drugs and thereby prevent further fatalities. A close working relationship with public health agencies enables SNP to identify new lethal drugs impacting the city in order to develop effective strategies.
DRugs and violence
SNP strives to protect New York City neighborhoods from the destabilizing effects of drug-related violence by investigating a wide variety of organizations, from street gang affiliates to entrenched narcotics distribution groups. The office is committed to devoting resources to help strengthen communities impacted by narcotics-related crime.
Prescription Drug Investigations
Widely recognized for its expertise in investigating and prosecuting those involved illegal trafficking in prescription drugs, including corrupt medical practitioners, SNP’s Prescription Drug Investigation Unit (PDIU) was created in 2011. As a result of these enforcement efforts, combined with improved education for doctors, increased public awareness and enhanced regulatory systems, the supply of diverted prescription drugs in New York City has been reduced.
SNP responds to community complaints about narcotics trafficking by conducting investigations and providing resources to neighborhoods. Assistant District Attorneys work closely with the NYPD to address complaints about drug crimes and related violence. Additionally, the Community Outreach Unit meets with community and religious leaders, block associations, the New York City Housing Authority, while conferring regularly with NYPD officials to devise strategies to combat crime. Once an investigation is completed and a drug organization is removed from a building or neighborhood, resources are devoted toward providing community support services. Learn More
Eligible felony defendants with substance abuse disorder are provided with an array of treatment options. SNP’s Alternative Sentencing Division has successfully worked for 30 years to provide treatment services as an alternative to incarceration through SNP’s pioneering Drug Treatment Alternatives to Prison (DTAP) programs. Experienced office staff also assist in screening applicants for Judicial Diversion, which the New York State Legislature established in 2009, granting judges authority to evaluate eligibility for court-sponsored diversion programs. Because SNP prosecutes felony cases, as opposed to misdemeanors, alternative programs are offered post-arraignment. Learn More