In the latest round of arrests by a special task force called the Northern Narcotics Initiative, 23 suspected Westchester heroin dealers were taken in. Today’s arrests are part of an on going investigation of the heroin trade in northern Westchester. It is said that authorities have seized $1 million in heroin in the sweep.
Westchester County police Commissioner George Longworth said in a press conference, “Some people may think that heroin is only an inner-city problem, but it’s not. Heroin is being sold on tree-lined streets. It is being used by – and sold by – young people who live in comfortable homes and circumstances. No community is immune.”
The Northern Narcotics Initiative was formed last year in response to the rise in heroin use and overdoses in 2013. According to Lohud.com, the task force is “Comprised of FBI agents and police from Westchester County and seven northern Westchester police departments, the task force targets dealers and has now made more than 125 arrests of people accused of selling heroin on the street or from their homes.”
Of the 23 arrested, 15 face federal charges as suppliers of large amounts of heroin to dealers on the street. The other five are being held on state charges. All of the suspects live in Westchester and are in their twenties and thirties.
“[The authorities] are determined to prevent drug organizations from taking root in our communities,” said U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara.
George Venizelos, assistant director-in-charge of the FBI’s New York office, said “[Law enforcement] will continue to dismantle the infrastructure for distributing heroin and cocaine, wherever we find it.”