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Tag: Heroin

DEA Helps Seize 20 Tons of Drugs in ‘Largest Known Seizure of Heroin in Afghanistan’

DEA makes major drug bust in Afghanistan.

DEA makes major drug bust in Afghanistan.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA, with the help of American Special Forces and an Afghan counternarcotics, seized a whopping 20 tons of drugs in what officials have described as “the largest known seizure of heroin in Afghanistan, if not the world.”

“This drug seizure alone prevented not only a massive amount of heroin hitting the streets throughout the world but also denied the Taliban money that would have been used to fund insurgent activities in and around the region,” DEA spokesman Steven Bell told ABC News Thursday. 

The estimated street value was $60 million for 12.5 tons of morphine base, 6.4 tons of heroin base, 134 kilograms of opium, 129 kilograms of crystal heroin and 12 kilograms of hashish, all of which was seized during an Oct. 17 raid that was just made public.

“If that was Pablo Escobar‘s stash, that would be considered a lot of frickin’ heroin,” said one combat veteran of the DEA’s 11-year counternarcotics mission to blunt the country’s heroin trade, referring to the Medellin, Colombia, narcotics kingpin killed two decades ago. “That’s going to make a dent in the European market.”

Other Stories of Interest

FBI’s Fight Against Rising Heroin Use Leads to Arrest of Man Linked to Overdoses

800px-HeroinBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI’s fight against the rising use of heroin led to the arrest of a man accused of selling the drug to people who overdosed in the greater New Orleans area.

Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Sallet said the FBI investigation was in response to a recent rise in heroin overdoses, the Associated Press reports. 

The New Orleans Violent Crime Task Force led the investigation, which resulted in the arrest of 39-year-old Gary Hagan on Friday on a charge of distributing heroin.

As of Sunday, Hagan remained in jail after a $140,000 bond was set.

Other Stories of Interest

DEA to Reduce Opioid Manufacturing by 25% in 2017 to Curb Abuse, Overdoses

Fentanyl tablets

Fentanyl tablets

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA’s fight against painkiller abuse has prompted the agency to reduce opioid manufacturing by 25% in 2017.

The cutback will affect drugs such as fentanyl, morphine, oxycodone and hydrocodone, the Verge reports. 

The good news is, fewer prescriptions are being written for opioids as doctors are becoming more aware of painkiller abuse and its link to heroin use.

The abuse of heroin and opioids are a major reason that 2014 was the deadliest year on record for drug overdoses, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 60% of the overdoses involved an opioid.

Opioids also have become the second most popular drug for non-medical use after marijuana.

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DEA Travels to China to Crack Down on Fentanyl That’s Added to Heroin

Fentanyl tablets

Fentanyl tablets

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Fentanyl has been used as a powerful additive to heroin, and its use has been killing Americans.

Now the DEA is in China to help the government crack down on the manufacture of fentanyl, Chicago Sun Times reports.

While Mexico is the biggest heroin supplier, China is the leading supplier of fentanyl that is added to heroin to increase it strength, said Dennis Wichern, the special agent in charge of the DEA in Chicago and a five-state region.

“In the last three years we’ve seen an explosion of fentanyl,” Wichern said. “In Chicago, heroin- and fentanyl-related investigations have been priority No. 1.”

The DEA said the Chinese government is cooperating with U.S. drug agents.

“They recognize they have a problem with the synthetic drug explosion, as I call it,” Wichern said.

“The Chinese are all aboard. They’ve outlawed it. We’re working with them,” Wichern said. “We have agents on the ground every day in Beijing and Hong Kong working with the Chinese to stop this.”

Other Stories of Interest

DEA Not Surprised After 17 Heroin Overdoses in Akron, Ohio in 24 Hours

800px-HeroinBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Heroin continues to claim lives at unprecedented rates.

In the city of Akron, Ohio, 17 people overdosed on heroin, and one died, in a 24-hour period, WWJ reports.

Special Agent Rich Isaacson, of the DEA’s Detroit field division, said the trend is startling.

“It’s a huge problem in Akron, Ohio but it’s also a huge problem across the United States,” said Issacson. “There is not a community in southeast Michigan that hasn’t been hit hard by the opiate abuse problems, that’s including pain killers, like hydrcodone and oxycodone products as well as heroin.”

Isaacson said news of deaths don’t usually stop users.

“On occasion when there’s talk of heroin overdose deaths – or a series of heroin overdose deaths; sometimes as counter-intuitive as it sounds – that actually sounds attractive to a heroin addict because they know that if that heroin caused the death of another user, that must have been pretty strong heroin,” Issacson said.

The heroin epidemic is being blamed on the ubiquity of pain medicine.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI/DEA Produce Documentary on Heroin and Prescription Drug Addiction

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

To make the public more aware of the issue, the FBI and DEA have teamed up to produce a film on the opioid and prescription drug abuse epidemic  that is sweeping the country.

The documentary is called: “Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict.”

FBI-Produced ‘Chasing the Dragon’ Tackles Heroin Abuse Among Young People

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

To tackle the alarming increase in heroin and opiate abuse that is reaching every demographic, the FBI has produced a “searing film” with testimony from overdose survivors, the Washington Post reports. 

The documentary, “Chasing the Dragon,” was produced at the request of FBI Director James Comey, who has taken personal interest in the film.

Comey also plans to meet with school officials in the Washington region today to discuss the rise in prescription opiates among young people.

The rise in heroin use is linked to the increasing number of people who have access to prescription painkillers.

About 46,000 people die annually from drug abuse, about a quarter of which are related to heroin.

“The numbers are appalling and shocking — tens of thousands of Americans will die this year from drug-related deaths and more than half of these deaths are from heroin and prescription opioid overdoses,” said Acting DEA Administrator Chuck Rosenberg. “You will see in ‘Chasing the Dragon’ opioid abusers that have traveled a remarkably dangerous and self-destructive path. I hope this will be a wakeup call for folks. Please pay close attention to this horrific epidemic. Help reverse it. Save a life. Save a friend. Save a loved one.”

DEA’s John ‘Jack’ Riley Named ticklethewire.com’s Fed of The Year For 2015

John "Jack" Riley

John “Jack” Riley

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

John “Jack” Riley,  the DEA’s acting deputy administrator, has been named ticklethewire.com’s Fed of the Year for 2015.

Riley, a native of Chicago with more than 25 years of drug law enforcement experience, was appointed the acting second-in-command of the DEA in April as the top administrator, Michele Leonhart, was stepping down.

Riley has stepped into a top leadership role — no easy task — and deserves  credit for working on getting the agency back on track, while providing guidance to the new interim director, an outsider from the FBI, Chuck Rosenberg.  Along the way, he’s made some tough decisions, which hasn’t pleased everyone inside the DEA.

The grandson of a Chicago cop, he headed up the Chicago and El Paso field offices, and has spent years investigating the Mexican cartels and the trafficking of heroin and cocaine across the southern border.

The man is old school. He’s got it out for Mexican drug lord  Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman, chief of the murderous Sinaloa Cartel, who escaped from a Mexican prison earlier this year. Riley was once the target of an assassination plot by El Chapo’s operatives.

“Just so you know, I was going to retire — until this dick escaped,” Riley told Yahoo! News in September, adding:  “I’m in it for the long haul.”

Previous recipients of the ticklethewire.com Fed of the Year award include: Former Chicago U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald (2008):   Warren Bamford, who headed the Boston FBI (2009), Joseph Evans, regional director for the DEA’s North and Central Americas Region in Mexico City (2010);  Thomas Brandon, deputy Director of ATF (2011); John G. Perren, who was assistant director of WMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction) Directorate (2012); David Bowdich, special agent in charge of counterterrorism in Los Angeles (2013);  and Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who was U.S. Attorney in Brooklyn at the time (2014).