CAMDEN — New Jersey State Police announced a "huge bust," of a dealer who was found with a large amount of an opioid more powerful than heroin.

The arrest comes as the opioid epidemic grips the state and work is being done to take the drugs off the street and get addicts the help they need.

The arrest happened on Thursday thanks to a combined effort by the state police, the Department of Homeland Security, the US Drug Enforcement Agency, and the Camden County Police Department. As a result of a month-long investigation, 22-year-old Yahmire Boardley of Camden was arrested and found with 14 kilograms of fentanyl.

State Police said while fentanyl is not as well known as some other similar drugs, it has been connected to the death of celebrities like Prince, and was a contributing factor to the death of 417 in 2015 in New Jersey alone. The police said the drug is up to 50 times more powerful than heroin, and can be disguised as less powerful drugs like Oxycodone or heroin which can also contribute to overdose deaths. Last year the Attorney General's Office added the fentanyl knockoffs to the list of drugs under the strictest controlled in the state.

"By arresting this alleged drug dealer and seizing 14 kilograms of fentanyl, which is 50 times more powerful than heroin, the State Police and HSI stopped many thousands of doses of this lethal opiate from reaching the street," Attorney General Christopher S. Porrino said.

Porrino said even one arrest in a much larger fight can make a difference. "Our ongoing interdiction of major drug traffickers is just one aspect of our multi-faceted efforts to fight the tragif epidemic of opiate addiction, but it is an important one that, in this case, undoubtedly saved many lives." He said another key step taken by his office was the creation of a "strike team," which has charged six doctors for illegally prescribing pain pills.

State Police Colonel Rick Fuentes said, "This cooperative effort between the New Jersey State Police, HSI, and our other law enforcement partners demonstrates our resolve to aggressively target anyone peddling this poison in our communities."

Boardley was arrested at his home and charged with possession of a controlled dangerous substance and possession of a controlled dangerous substance with intent to distribute. He was taken to the New Jersey State Police Bellmawr Station for processing and then taken to the Camden County Jail while awaiting a bail hearing.

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Contact reporter Adam Hochron at 609-359-5326 or Adam.Hochron@townsquaremedia.com

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