Police bust up Staten Island drug rings

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Three people died of heroin overdoses in a 24-hour period this weekend on Staten Island. It is part of a disturbing trend of 10 deaths in just the last two weeks. In that same time period, the district attorney and NYPD busted two major drug-dealing operations.

NYPD narcotics detectives confiscated glassine envelopes of heroin, heroin decks, guns and cash during takedowns of notorious drug rings. Cops arrested 11 members of the Boulevard Boys and six from the Beach Boys crew.

Richmond County DA Michael McHahon said you could order a home delivery of heroin like a pizza and get the number off social media or group chats. McMahon said every part of Staten Island is affected by the drug epidemic.

To get a handle on it, his office started tracking and looking closely at each overdose death. He said at least 70 people have overdosed and died so far this year.

While most of the heroin in the city is trucked in by Mexican cartels, according to local and federal law enforcement officers, the distributors and retail dealers are all home grown, looking very much like middle class residents.

McMahon said he created the overdose response initiative because it is about more than locking people up. Solutions must include prevention, treatment and education.

One of the recent overdose deaths was in the bathroom of a restaurant at the Staten Island Mall.