PORTLAND — Drug overdoses are the leading cause of injury-related deaths in the United States and every day we see the impact that prescription drug abuse has on our neighborhoods. This crisis is destroying communities throughout New England and thenation. In an effort to address this epidemic, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New England Field Division recently conducted a two-week surge operation. During the operation, law enforcement made 645 arrests and seized 17.9 kilograms of fentanyl, 7,800 illicit fentanyl pills, 13.9 kilograms of cocaine, 3.1 kilograms of heroin, 2.5 kilograms of methamphetamine, 38.1 kilograms of marijuana, 51 firearms and $1.2 million in cash, announced Special Agent in Charge Brian D. Boyle.

“DEA’s top priority is to aggressively pursue anyone who distributes these deadly drugs,” said Boyle. “Those arrested need to be held accountable for their actions because they have chosen to distribute this poison and profit from the misery they spread.”

“Many Maine communities are battling the devastating effects of drug trafficking,” said Halsey B. Frank, U.S. Attorney for the District of Maine. “Fighting this scourge is one of the top priorities of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. We applaud the results of the recent New England surge operation and will continue working with DEA and our state and local partners to investigate and prosecute those who choose to distribute drugs in our state.”

Many local, state and federal law enforcement partners assisted during the two-week operation.

“Illegal drug distribution ravages the very foundations of our families and communities,” said Boyle. “Every time we take fentanyl off the streets we save lives. These enforcement actions demonstrate the strength of collaborative local, state and federal law enforcement efforts in New England.”

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