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Nassau officials laud "historic seizure of pure fentanyl"

Bronx man accused of transporting 3 kilos of fentanyl on Long Island
Bronx man accused of transporting 3 kilos of fentanyl on Long Island 02:30

WANTAGH, N.Y. - A Bronx man is under arrest on Long Island for allegedly transporting three kilos of "pure fentanyl." 

Lawmakers said it was enough to wipe out all of Nassau County. 

Fentanyl is on the minds of many parents whose children accidentally overdosed. 

"Everybody says 'Not my kid.' This could happen to anybody," Larry and Eileen Lamendola of Wantagh said. 

They say bereavement groups are giving them the strength to speak. 

"Lisa was 25 years old. We had just celebrated her birthday. I found her in her room, just feet from where we are sitting now, at the foot of her bed," Larry Lamendola said. 

They had Narcan in the home, but it was too late. 

Lisa, a promising arts student, had been in and out of rehab, fighting an opioid addiction. 

"The dose she succumbed to was laced with fentanyl," Larry Lamendola said. 

"This is a story about triumph and tragedy," said Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman

Tragedy, he said, that young people are unwitting victims to peddled pills. Triumph in the form of an historic fentanyl seizure in Nassau County - three kilos. 

"Those three kilos of fentanyl could kill over 2 million people," Blakeman said. 

The batch of fentanyl was traced to Mexico, he said. The suspect has been uncooperative. 

"When we went to fingerprint him, he had burned the fingerprints off his hands," Nassau County Police Commissioner Patrick Ryder said. 

The district attorney says the suspect, 50, entered the country illegally and was couriering the fentanyl through Nassau County when he was pulled over in Syosset. 

"My prosecutors asked that the defendant be remanded, and the judge agreed to hold him without bail," said Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly. "Fentanyl is cheap, it's plentiful and it's coming into the county in droves." 

"This is a poisoning crisis," Steve Chassman of the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence, or LICADD. 

Chassman said the overdose scourge is unintentional. Every chemical, pill, powder, potion available may be tainted with the deadly drug. 

"This is a national crisis, and it really does have the ability to impede the infrastructure when you have a whole generation of young substance users," Chassman said. 

Nassau County says it will do its part to try to get drugs off the street with its new "overwatch" unit. 

The Lamendolas believe community coalitions help them find purpose in their daughter's death. 

"My goal now is education, and prevention," Larry Lamendola said. 

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