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A recent warning from the district attorney about the serious consequences of a new and deadly form of heroin on Rockland County streets may result in an increase in the arrest rate for drug charges in the region. Law enforcement officials in the area said the drug is up to 20 percent more potent than the heroin normally found in New York.

According to the report, the drug manufacturing process includes mixing, or “cutting,” the heroin with Fentanyl to intensify effects of the heroin. The potency of Fentanyl can be as much as 100 times that of morphine.

One Rockland town reported that its police assisted 28 people this year who required medical treatment for drug overdoses related to heroin. Even though police carry the drug antidote Narcan to administer to overdose victims, the county still had 17 deaths so far this year related to heroin use.

Drug enforcement activities are likely to increase as police try to halt drug distribution to people in the region. At least one local police chief pointed to a need to arrest and prosecute individuals engaged in drug manufacturing, drug possession and possession with intent to distribute.

Stepped up drug enforcement activities could mean that more Rockland County residents will be subjected to search and seizure following a traffic stop. An arrest on drug charges could help an individual with an addiction problem to enter a drug diversion program, but it can also have serious consequences due to the severe penalties associated with a conviction for many drug offenses.

A person facing drug charges could benefit from the assistance of a criminal defense attorney. The attorney knows the laws and procedures in drug cases and might help to negotiate reduced charges and a drug diversion program depending upon the circumstances of a particular case.

Source: The Journal News, “Heroin: Deadly Fentanyl-laced drug found in Rockland,” Steve Lieberman, June 15, 2015

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