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A New Jersey man has been arrested for allegedly using Staten Island mailing facilities to ship thousands of pills of fentanyl across the country.
Joel Manuel De Jesus Amparo, 23, was arrested and indicted on charges of first-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and other charges in connection with the interstate fentanyl mailing operation.
A joint investigation led authorities to the takedown of a pill mill in Jersey City earlier this month after intercepting dozens of packages containing approximately 8,000 fentanyl pills at mailing facilities on Staten Island.
Amparo was arraigned Tuesday in Staten Island Supreme Court on the indictment charging him with multiple counts of first-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance and related charges. The judge ordered Amparo remanded.
ARIZONA BORDER OFFICIALS NET STAGGERING AMOUNT OF FENTANYL PILLS AT NOGALES
Staten Island District Attorney Michael E. McMahon said the joint investigation will “potentially save millions of lives.”
“The dangers of fentanyl cannot be overstated. This deadly drug has contributed to over 80 percent of fatal overdoses on Staten Island since 2020, and it only continues to destroy more and more lives,” McMahon said.
Fentanyl-related overdose deaths have skyrocketed in the U.S. in recent years. Many victims unknowingly consume pills laced with fentanyl.
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The synthetic opioid is typically used for treating severe pain and is 50-100 times more potent than morphine. Illicit fentanyl is now primarily made in Mexico from precursors manufactured in China, and then trafficked across the southern border.