- Associated Press - Friday, January 20, 2017

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) - After 19 suspected opioid deaths in as many days, prosecutors in one western New York county say they’re putting more focus on drug cases.

Erie County District Attorney John Flynn and other county officials on Thursday announced the restoration of a stand-alone narcotics bureau that will aggressively target opioid dealers, including cases involving lesser amounts of drugs.

Like much of the country, Buffalo and the rest of Erie County have seen overdose deaths from heroin and other opioids rise at alarming rates in recent years. There were more than 300 suspected deaths in the county of about 900,000 residents last year.

Health Commissioner Gale Burstein says opioid overdoses are the top cause of unnatural death in Erie County.

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