PRESS RELEASE For immediate release on April 8, 2020
District Attorney Michael E. McMahon applauds Assembly Member Michael Cusick, Senator Andrew Lanza, and entire Staten Island Albany delegation for adding deadly fentanyl analogs to the state controlled substances list Staten Island, N.Y. --
Today, DA McMahon proudly thanked and congratulated Assembly Member Michael Cusick and Senator Andrew Lanza for shepherding the successful effort to add seven analogs of the deadly synthetic opioid fentanyl onto the state’s controlled substances list. Currently, if the chemical structure of fentanyl is altered slightly, and this new “analog” is not found on the New York State controlled substances list, law enforcement is unable to charge the defendant for their heinous crime. This has frustrated law enforcement on Staten Island and across the country, as drug dealers have escaped justice on a technicality.
In 2018, DA McMahon’s Overdose Response Initiative revealed that 81% of fatal overdoses on Staten Island were caused by fentanyl. In 2019, over 60% of overdoses with completed autopsy results contained fentanyl.
District Attorney Michael E. McMahon said, “It is abundantly clear that the prevalence of fentanyl and its analogs is the primary cause of overdose deaths on Staten Island, and we must do all we can to stop the flow into our borough and into our country. Thanks to the valiant work of Assembly Member Cusick and Senator Lanza, the men and women of the NYPD and the Staten Island District Attorney’s Office are much better equipped to hold those who deal death in our neighborhoods accountable for their depraved crimes.”
Senator Andrew Lanza said, "Adding these analogs to close the loopholes will finally give law enforcement the tools they need to prosecute those who manufacture and sell these deadly substances. The scourge of fentanyl and its analogs has plagued our State with an intolerable death toll for far too long. I commend Governor Cuomo for being a steadfast partner to Staten Island on the opioid epidemic. I want to thank Assemblyman Cusick and District Attorney McMahon for partnering with me to update our laws to hold drug dealers accountable for their heinous crimes. For those struggling with addiction and to families who lost a loved one, we are in this together and remain committed to continuing the fight. Now more than ever we must extinguish this devastating threat to our community.”
Assemblymember Michael Cusick said, “Opioids have wreaked havoc on many communities across our nation, including right here at home on Staten Island. Ensuring law enforcement agencies have the tools they need to crack down on drug peddlers has been a top priority for me in the State Assembly. I am proud to see this important update to state law come into effect, and I want to commend DA McMahon and Senator Lanza for their vigilance.”