Drugs

Ryan Zunner / WBFO

Retired drug enforcement agent Joseph Bongiovanni is facing federal bribery charges in Buffalo. U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy said the 21-year veteran of the Drug Enforcement Administration used his position to take pressure off friends and associates who had links to Italian organized crime and the drug trade.


Kyle S. Mackie/WBFO News

A coalition of advocates called End Overdose New York is urging immediate action, as the State Senate’s Joint Task Force on Opioids, Addiction & Overdose Prevention meets in Buffalo Wednesday.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

What apparently was a street beef nearly a year ago led to the death of a young Buffalo man. Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said the murder will now probably lead to heavy jail time.

The leader of a Jamestown drug organization has pleaded guilty to selling cocaine, after two of his business associates were convicted.

Erwin Wodicka / iStock

The U.S. Attorney's Office says a former nurse practitioner issued more than 200 phoney prescriptions for narcotics over the course of two years - and now the last of 10 people charged in the conspiracy has been sentenced.

A major pharmaceutical distribution company and two of its former executives are facing criminal charges for their roles in advancing the nation's opioid crisis and profiting from it.

Drug Enforcement Agency

First there was heroin. Then fentanyl. Then carfentanil. Now butyryl. Ever-stronger variations of the deadly opioid are making their way through Western New York.

A Jamestown couple has been arrested on multiple drug and gun charges.

Federal prosecutors late Tuesday charged British drugmaker Indivior with felony fraud and conspiracy for its marketing of opioid products including Suboxone. The company allegedly created a "nationwide scheme" in the U.S. designed to convince doctors and government insurance providers that Indivior's patented opioid medications are safer and less prone to abuse than cheaper generic alternatives.

File Photo / WBFO News

New York State is considering providing medication-assisted treatment to all prison and jail inmates struggling with opioid addiction.

POWER Act has power to fund war on opioids

Feb 21, 2019
Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Local law enforcement agencies are hoping Congress passes legislation that would allow funding for some cutting edge technology that identifies lethal illicit drugs like fentanyl.

U.S. Attorney's Office

Local prosecutors say they are using a new high-tech mapping system to help search out drug dealers involved in fatal overdoses and to get overdose victims into treatment faster.

For the first time in U.S. history, a leading cause of deaths — vehicle crashes — has been surpassed in likelihood by opioid overdoses, according to a new report on preventable deaths from the National Safety Council.

Americans now have a 1 in 96 chance of dying from an opioid overdose, according to the council's analysis of 2017 data on accidental death. The probability of dying in a motor vehicle crash is 1 in 103.

Got drugs? Get rid of them...statewide

Jan 4, 2019
Chris Caya / WBFO News

Drug drop-off sites are not new, but this weekend New York joins Washington as the first two states to adopt a unified statewide drug take-back program for unwanted prescription and non-prescription drugs.

University at Buffalo

A local doctor who specializes in treating people with addictions has been arrested and charged with possession of heroin and cocaine.

Mike Desmond / WBFO News

Anyone who watches crime shows on television, whether a reality show or fiction, knows officers put up that yellow crime tape and wait for the forensics people. That is changing, with the national surge of fatal drug overdoses a major reason. More and more police departments train officers to treat an overdose as a crime scene unless someone of rank decides otherwide.

Michael Mroziak / WBFO News

Dontrell Wise faces spending the rest of his life in a federal prison because a jury on Thursday ruled the illegal drugs he sold led to a death.

Federal authorities say they have brought down the leader of a major opioids manufacturing and trafficking ring that has been supplying New York's Southern Tier and Northern Pennsylvania.

With the nation reeling from an epidemic of drug overdose deaths, President Trump signed legislation Wednesday that is aimed at helping people overcome addiction and preventing addictions before they start.

"Together we are going to end the scourge of drug addiction in America," Trump said at a White House event celebrating the signing. "We are going to end it or we are going to at least make an extremely big dent in this terrible, terrible problem."

The opioid legislation was a rarity for this Congress, getting overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers.

Updated at 4:37 p.m. ET

The American opioid crisis is far from over, but early data indicate the number of deaths are beginning to level off, according to Alex Azar, secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, citing "encouraging" results in overdose trends.

In a speech on Tuesday at a Milken Institute health summit, Azar walked through statistics suggesting deaths were plateauing and he highlighted efforts he says may be turning the tide in the drug epidemic.

Cristina Rivell has been struggling with an opioid addiction since she was a teenager — going in and out of rehab for five years. The most recent time, her doctor prescribed her a low dose of buprenorphine (often known by its brand name, Suboxone), a drug that helps curb cravings for stronger opioids and prevents the symptoms of withdrawal.

A member of a gang that specialized in robbing drug dealers in Buffalo has been sentenced to 50 years in federal prison.

Nexium

A new report from the New York Public Interest Research Group finds the cost of prescription drugs can vary widely among pharmacies, even within the same region.

FDA issues 3 consumer warnings

Aug 29, 2018
CoinRX

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is alerting the public about several potential dangers.

U.S. Attorney's Office

A member of the Kingsmen Motorcycle Club has been sentenced to eight years in prison in connection with a drug and firearms ring operated by his South Buffalo chapter.

Niagara Falls Police Department

A former Niagara Falls police officer, convicted for involvement in narcotics sales, has been sentenced to time served and three years probation.

Niagara County Sheriff's Office

A Niagara County man has been charged with criminally negligent homicide in the fatal drug overdose of his sister.

Douglas Levere / University at Buffalo

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn says new research at the University at Buffalo is a "huge deal" in developing a computer chip that could eventually be used to build the illegal drug equivalent of the breathalyzer.

A Lockport man is facing 5-40 years in prison for selling fentanyl-laced heroin, while a Buffalo is also facing up to 40 years in prison for beating a witness in a public housing drug-related case.

POLL: 62% of NYers don't finish prescribed opioids

May 2, 2018

The latest Siena College poll on opioids says 24 percent of New Yorkers were prescribed opioids in the last two years.

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