On August 4th, federal agents announced that they seized a massive amount of fentanyl and heroin. The bust took place at a seven-story brick apartment building in New York City. The amount of fentanyl found their stunned investigators, as it was one of the largest busts of the very deadly Drug in New York City history.

More details on the drug bust

The raid took place at an apartment building in New York City's Upper West Side, directly across the street from iconic Central Park. Federal agents ended up seizing 20 pounds of fentanyl and heroin during the raid. Federal investigators estimated the total value of the drugs to be worth more than $3 million dollars.

Federal agents arrested the building tenant Jesus Perez Cabral. Besides the drugs, a gun was also found inside Cabral's unit, along with empty glassines and packaging paraphernalia like stamps. They also arrested his three alleged accomplices, David Rodriguez, Johnny Beltrez and Richard Rodriguez. The quartet of defendants has already been arraigned on charges of criminal possession of a controlled substance, as well as conspiracy.

The dangers of so much fentanyl

When discussing the bust the Drug Enforcement Agency's (DEA) Special-Agent-in-Charge James Hunt said that the massive amount of fentanyl could have easily proven to be deadly to a large population, like New York's, if it was handled improperly. Hunt bluntly stated that “Twenty pounds of fentanyl in its purest form is potent enough to kill half the population of New York City.”

Hunt mentioned how even the act of breathing in or ingesting a small amount of the drug through one's pores can end up being fatal.

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So what would happen if someone had spilled it while transporting it or got into the apartment's air conditioning?

What is fentanyl?

Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic opiate that has been making headlines across America in recent years. In 2015, the DEA had to issue a nationwide alert about the dangers of the deadly drug. Fentanyl is a prescription drug that is similar to morphine, but is much more powerful. It is normally used to manage or treat extremely serve pain in patients and administered by doctors via a pill, injection or patch.

The drug drives up dopamine levels and creates a state of relaxation for those who take it. However, in large doses (in its non-pure form) or when mixed with other drugs, in can have very negative side effects or lead to death. It is estimated that the drug is 30-50 times more powerful than heroin and 50-100 times more potent than morphine.