SUFFOLK COUNTY, Long Island -- A massive drug bust on Long Island led to the arrest of 30 individuals on a slew of charges.
Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond Tierney announced the indictment Wednesday following a three-month long narcotic trafficking and gang investigation throughout the county.
These investigations involved the execution of over 100 search warrants into cell phones, residences, vehicles, and other digital sources. The warrants, including thousands of hours of electronic and video surveillance, uncovered three separate operations involving alleged gang members.
According to officials, between February and June of this year, large amounts of fentanyl and cocaine were trafficked throughout Suffolk County. That also includes 763 grams of fentanyl that Tierney says is enough to kill over 380,000 people.
That was the unfortunate case for Michelle Tomitz, 30, who died in February after overdosing on drugs she bought from two men, who are among the 30 arrested.
The D.A. said the drugs she died from had fentanyl, cocaine, and xylazine in them.
Xylazine is a powerful tranquilizer drug used by veterinarians for large animals like cattle, and it's legal to buy with a prescription. It's used to exasperate the effects of fentanyl.
"Quite obviously, I think, New York state needs a death by dealer statute to address what we see happing on the streets," said Tierney. "399 deaths in Suffolk County last year alone caused by fentanyl, caused by this clearly deadly substance, yet we can't charge people for that which they do, which is caused the death of others through the sale of this poison."
Over two kilograms of cocaine, one kilogram of fentanyl, illegal firearms, assault rifle and high-capacity ammunition feeding device were allegedly recovered during the investigations, which also culminated in three indictments charging a total of 30 defendants with 132 charges including long-term conspiracies to distribute narcotics, the sale and possession of narcotics, money laundering, and the possession of multiple illegal firearms.
Among the 30 arrested, however, 21 walked away free.
The district attorney says this is due to the current laws. For many of his defendants, his office couldn't even ask for bail.