Oneida County has seen 112 overdoses so far this year, with 15 of them fatal.
Just days ago, the county issued a spike alert, after five people died in just 10 days. Since then, two more have died. Officials believe it’s possible that heroin was laced with deadly fentanyl.
Congressman Anthony Brindisi is urging federal budget negotiators to fully fund the Interdict Act. It was signed into law last year, authorizing $9 million to Customs and Border Protection for technology and personnel to detect and stop fentanyl shipments into the United States.
He said fentanyl usually comes from Mexico or China so this funding targets a big piece of the problem.
"We have to give our Customs and Border Patrol agents the tools they need to prevent this substance from even coming to places like Upstate New York," said Rep. Brindisi, D-Utica.
"We have to fight this on all fronts; International, national, and locally, statewide, everywhere. So everything helps," said Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente.
"It's like a network," Oneida County Undersheriff Joseph Lisi said. "It's disseminated to cities and then disseminated out. It's just like anything else, but if we can stop it before it comes in then we are in good shape."
An investigation is still underway into whether or not recent fatal overdoses in Oneida County involved fentanyl.