From China to Mexico to NYC: How fentanyl became ‘a weapon of mass destruction’ in the US  

NY Post

In the dark hours before dawn, there’s no busier place than the Hunts Point produce market in The Bronx, where throngs of chefs, grocers and deli owners jockey each morning to snag the plumpest peaches and leafiest lettuce. But the bazaar, which handles as many as 30 million pounds of goods per day and is the largest produce outlet in the nation, also provides perfect cover for the importing of fentanyl, America’s deadliest drug, which smugglers sneak into New York amid boxes of fruits and vegetables, according law-enforcement officials. Once fentanyl reaches the market, traffickers move it to nearby apartments where the drug gets chopped up and packaged into small glassine envelopes. The drugs are then sold on the streets of the city — and up and down the East Coast. “It comes in with the produce,” said Bridget Brennan, who heads the city’s Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor, noting that densely packed fentanyl bricks, hidden in box trucks and 18-wheelers, travel by highways from the border with Mexico to the Great Lakes region before coming east. “The drugs are offloaded in New Jersey and then into The Bronx, where they are milled into glassines. The mills pump out millions of these glassines and they get distributed all over the country.” Packaging operations inside apartments close to Hunts Point are staffed mostly by Dominican laborers decked out in full face masks, gloves and protective clothing to prevent them from being poisoned by the powerful narcotic, Brennan said. “It tends to be an apartment in The Bronx with eight guys sitting around a big table working around the clock.”

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