Curse of geography funnels flood of fentanyl into Keystone State
As the opioid crisis continues to evolve, deadly new synthetic drugs like fentanyl are flooding into the market. Pennsylvania has been especially hard hit by the potent new killer, leading a record number of overdose deaths.
As reported by PennLive.com, officials recently seized a shipment of drugs heading to Philadelphia. Instead of heroin, they were surprised to find that it was 40 kilos of pure fentanyl.
It’s difficult to grasp the magnitude of 40 kilograms of fentanyl, which equates to about 88 pounds. Each kilogram of fentanyl can be broken down into between 330,000 and a million doses, said Patrick Trainor, a U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration agent based in Philadelphia. Other experts say as little as a quarter of a milligram of fentanyl can kill someone.
“Right now fentanyl is the driving force behind the high number of overdose deaths. It’s the fire that’s fueling that rocket,” said Steven Junkin, the police chief in Hampden Township in Cumberland County and a former state police commander.
According to Junkin, one of the reasons Pennsylvania is seeing so much fentanyl is that it is geographically prime with ready access to transportation nodes in the east around Philadelphia. Shipments can come by highway, water and air and reach millions of people. From there, the state has several smaller cities to the west which can act as distribution hubs.
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