NBC4 New York reported that charges were filed in state court against an alleged drug kingpin that authorities say flooded the streets of New York City with enough fentanyl to kill approximately 10 million people. Francisco Quiroz-Zamora pleaded not guilty to one count of operating as a major trafficker, one count conspiracy in the second degree, and two counts criminal sale of a controlled substance. He is being held without bail.
According to a press release from the New York Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), a long-term investigation conducted by the New York Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Strike Force, Financial Investigations Team, the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor (SNP) for the City of New York Francisco, and the DEA brought about the charges against Quiroz-Zamora and his five co-defendants. The indictment identified Quiroz-Zamora as the Mexican source for recent large shipments of fentanyl into New York City. He arranged for the narcotics to be smuggled into Arizona and California and communicated directly with narcotics customers in New York City, arranging for his drug traffickers to conduct transactions.
Quiroz-Zamora came to New York City on November 27, 2017 looking to allegedly collect a narcotics payment from an undercover officer. Although he flew from Texas to Connecticut, Quiroz-Zamora then made his way to Delaware where he boarded an Amtrak headed towards New York City. Agents were waiting at Penn Station to arrest him. Quiroz-Zamora’s drug trafficking team is allegedly linked to two major busts in New York City last year. The first was when Colorado resident Carlos Ramirez was arrested at a hotel in The Bronx in June 2017 for allegedly possessing 40 pounds of pure fentanyl. The second major bust came in August 2017 when a drug task force found a drug stash house operating out of an address on Central Park West that had 20 pounds of suspected heroin and fentanyl.
According to data provided by the DEA, SNP has seen their fentanyl cases increase from 35 pounds seized in 2016 to 491 pounds seized in 2017. During that same time period, DEA seizures increased from 59 pounds to 671 pounds. Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan said, “In New York City and across the nation, fentanyl is causing untold tragedy as it pushes the number of overdose deaths ever higher. This indictment demonstrates our collaborative approach and commitment to tracking those at the top of the lethal supply chain and putting them out of business permanently.”