Nassau County Sheriff Bill Leeper has announced that a months-long, multi-agency drug-dealing investigation has put 54 suspects behind bars.
And, he told other dealers in the county, “We’re coming after you.”
The dealers arrested so far are not minor street-corner peddlers. Several have previous felony convictions, he said. The drugs swept up in the investigation also say something about the severity of crimes being charged. More than 100 pounds of illegal drugs were seized – including 3.5 pounds of highy toxic Fentanyl.
He dramatically held up a plastic container holding 3.5 pounds of flour, dipped a forefinger into the container, held it up and said, “That much Fentanyl would be enough to kill you.” Three and a half pounds of Fentanyl could kill 500,000 – 750,000 people.
This drug is made in secret labs – many of them in China – and smuggled across the porous border between Mexico and the United States.
Authorities so far have filed 223 charges against the 54 suspects arrested to date, in what has been dubbed “Operation Heavyweight.”
The sheriff was especially aiming his message at people who think drug-dealing is a minor crime. There have been dozens of fatal overdoses in the county so far this year.
Further, some intelligence analysts at the federal level are arguing that the Chinese government, which is openly hostile to the United States, has supported the manufacture and shipment of Fentanyl to the U.S. as a way of undermining our culture and, ultimately, our democracy.