N.E. fentanyl deaths ‘like no other epidemic’
LAWRENCE — Mexican cartels are delivering vast quantities of the inexpensive and powerful synthetic drug fentanyl to New England, causing the highest rate of fentanyl-related deaths in the nation while creating a plague that the area’s top drug enforcement official describes as “like no other epidemic” he’s ever seen.
It’s a pipeline that often begins in China, winds through Mexico, and flows into distribution cities such as Lawrence and Springfield, according to Michael J. Ferguson, the special agent in charge of the New England field division of the Drug Enforcement Administration. There, it’s packaged and shipped off to other urban centers and remote hamlets.
In a candid and often alarming 90-minute interview, Ferguson offered a detailed look at how fentanyl arrives in the region and an unsparing perspective on the way the drug has destroyed families and threatened entire communities.