More than 70 kilograms of heroin and $2 million in cash were seized by authorities in New York City’s Bronx borough, a raid officials described as a significant blow to a drug network that reached from Central America to New England, the Wall Street Journal reports. Officials called the weekend heroin seizure the largest carried out by the Drug Enforcement Administration in New York City and the fourth largest nationwide. Two men were arrested. Officials said they had close ties to Mexican cartel leaders.
Heroin-related overdoses and deaths in the city’s five boroughs have increased dramatically, tracking national addiction trends. New York City and northern New Jersey are considered hubs for heroin trafficking. The drug is sold cheaper—and more potent—than in decades past. “This load was so large it carried the potential of supplying a dose of heroin to every man, woman and child in New York City,” said Bridget Brennan, the city's special narcotics prosecutor. She estimated the street value of the heroin, which is typically diluted by local dealers as it works its way through the supply chain, at $50 million. In New York City, 424 people died from heroin overdoses heroin in 2013, more than double the number in 2010.