“Call an Uber” took on a new meaning recently when the feds busted a drug mill in a Manhattan neighborhood near Central Park and seized enough fentanyl “to kill half of the population of New York City.”
According to New York’s Gothamist, the agents found three kilos of a deadly fentanyl and heroin combination, as well as over a thousand individual doses in envelopes stamped “UBER.”
“Fentanyl is the deadliest street drug to ever hit this country. This seizure alone contains enough potency to kill half of the population of New York City, if laboratory analysis proves it is all fentanyl,” DEA Special Agent in Charge James J. Hunt said in a statement. “Fentanyl is manufactured death that drug dealers are mixing with heroin.”
But Uber wasn’t the only brand name being used by the drug dealers.
Other stamps featured logos like McDonald’s, Panda Express and Animal Planet, as well as more generic names like ‘Viper,’ ‘Rebel,’ ‘Black Friday’ and ‘Wild Card.’
One of the suspects arrested was indeed an Uber driver, according to the DEA.
This isn’t first time Uber has been associated with moving drugs around the Big Apple.
Earlier this year, dealers in Manhattan and the Bronx, with fake Uber placards, posed as Uber drivers and went about the city selling cocaine and heroin.
A spokesperson for the troubled $69 billion ride-hailing company wasn’t commenting on this occasion.
While Uber obviously has little control over how its image is used by drug dealers, when this type of attention is generated, it only adds to their already bad public image after several back-to-back scandals, which ended with the resignation of Uber CEO Travis Kalanick.
The New York Department of Health says fentanyl is the reason why fatal overdoses spiked 46 percent in 2016.
But a similar situation has affected the whole country.
In some states, heroin overdose deaths doubled from 2015 to 2016 because of fentanyl. According to a recent study, as much as 80 percent of the heroin being found contains fentanyl.
“The volume of heroin and highly potent fentanyl entering New York City is staggering, but so is the amount being removed from the streets as a result of successful collaborations between law enforcement partners,” Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan told the New York Post. “In this case, millions of dollars in suspected heroin and fentanyl was seized just steps from Central Park, a top destination for New Yorkers and tourists alike.”
“By reducing the supply of these dangerous drugs, we are saving lives and sending a clear message that those who seek to profit by peddling poison will be put out of business and brought to justice,” Brennan added.