Police: Bronx man arrested in Nassau with over 3 kilos of fentanyl
Officials announced a historic drug bust early Friday in Nassau County.
Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder says officers pulled over Juan Cruz, of the Bronx, Wednesday on Jericho Turnpike in Syosset and found he was in possession of 3 kilos of pure fentanyl.
Police say that amount of fentanyl is enough to kill more than 2 million people.
"It's enough drugs to wipe out the entire population of Nassau County and probably a third of Suffolk County included," Ryder says.
Officers seized the fentanyl and arrested the undocumented 50-year-old. Police say the fentanyl was smuggled across the Mexican border.
Larry Lamendola, of Wantagh, lost his daughter Lisa after she died of a heroin-laced fentanyl overdose several years ago. He says fentanyl is "a cancer on our society."
Lamendola says a multipronged approach of enforcement, education and prevention is the only way to defeat the epidemic.
"You just have to keep chipping away at it, that's all I can tell you," Lamendola says.
Cruz was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance, criminal possession of a narcotic drug and operating an unregistered vehicle.
He is being held without bail and is due back in court on Monday.
The announcement comes after the county has seen an alarming uptick of overdoses this year alone.
A few months back, police saw several drugs on the street being passed off as prescription medication.
Late last month, the Food and Drug Administration approved over-the-counter Narcan, a medicine that can reverse the effects of an overdose. The move means people don't need a prescription to the medicine and was something advocates across the country and on Long Island have been pushing for. The drug will be available by summer, and Nassau County recently made overdose rescue kits available in all county buildings.