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Drug dealer’s arrest leads to largest fentanyl bust in Miami-Dade County
In a recent joint operation, investigators from the state attorney’s office and the Miami-Dade Police Department arrested Luis Manuel Charchabal, a 55-year-old drug dealer, on charges of possession of heroin and fentanyl. The June 22, 2017 drug bust was termed as one of the largest in the history of the Miami-Dade County.
According to Ed Griffith, spokesman of the Miami-Dade state attorney’s office, Charchabal has been charged with three counts of smuggling of heroin, a first-degree felony, and three counts of possession with intent to deliver, a second-degree felony. According to official estimates, authorities seized around 2.5 kilograms of heroin and fentanyl. “There’s not really a clear track, but we’ve not handled a case this big,” said Griffith.
In the recent years, the use of fentanyl – a synthetic drug often used to lace heroin, making it a deadlier concoction – has become rampant in the Miami-Dade County, causing a surge in the number of fatal overdoses. Florida state attorney Katherine Rundle said in a statement, “selling fentanyl is selling death by a different name.”
“The opioid epidemic that America, Florida and Dade County are all experiencing is made possible by those individuals who see illegal profits as more important than human life. In this community, we will continue to fight such drug dealers on the streets and work to end addiction through our drug court,” Rundle added.
Fentanyl abuse a serious concern in Florida
Pharmaceutical fentanyl is an opioid pain medication, 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine and is considered as one of the deadliest drugs on the planet. In a clinical setting, the drug is prescribed legally in patches that dissolve when placed under the tongue and pills which are lodged inside the cheek to deal with chronic, cancer-related and post-surgical pain. Sadly, nowadays intravenous morphine infusion (IMF), produced illegally in clandestine laboratories, has made its way to illicit drugs market, where it is usually mixed with heroin or even sold as heroin to the unwary addiction patients.
Fentanyl is also available in illicit drugs market in the form of counterfeit pills. For an individual abusing the drug in a non-clinical setting, this can prove to be extremely dangerous. The difference between a therapeutic dose administered by a professional medical practitioner and a self-administered dose is a minuscule one and is often devastating.
Unlike popular notions, most of the overdose victims in Florida, especially in the Miami-Dade County, are from white American or Hispanic backgrounds, not from the poor, black populations who are in majority in Overtown. These people dependent on heroin are attracted to Overtown and surrounding areas by the cheap packets of white powder nicknamed as “boys,” which is available for a mere $10 at illegal drug joints.
Studies suggest that during the first nine months of 2016, the Miami Fire-Rescue stations in the Overtown neighborhood have administered Narcan injections almost 1,700 times, which indicate a twofold spike when compared to the previous year’s numbers. Unfortunately, the situation continued to be same throughout November and early December, making Overtown a mecca for overdosing on heroin.
Battling the menace of addiction
If you or your loved one is battling addiction to fentanyl, or any other substance, seek treatment immediately. The Miami Drug Treatment Rehab Center can help you find the best addiction treatment program and embrace sobriety. You may call at our 24/7 helpline number 305-615-2028 for more information on different treatment options in your vicinity.