NEW YORK (PIX11) — In his first interview since taking over as the New York DEA’s new Special Agent in Charge, Frank Tarentino told PIX11, the agency is focused on fentanyl laced-drugs in our area.

“Thirty-three kilograms of fentanyl was seized last week — that’s 16 million doses — wwice the amount of people that live in the city of New York,” he said Monday.

That’s why the newly created Operation Overdrive — which is focused on overdoses and drug related violence — is so important, he added. Right now, Tarentino said the Bronx is a “hot spot” the initiative is honing in on.

According to the New York City Department of Health, the Bronx has the highest rate of overdose deaths.

Tarantino, who joined the DEA back in 1998 after serving as an officer in the U.S. Army, said guns and drug trafficking go hand in hand.

“Drug traffickers use guns and violence to further their criminal activities,” he said.

Drug dealers are using new smuggling methods and the internet and emojis are being utilized to push the poison onto the city’ youngest,” Tarentino said. He added it isn’t just regulated to the streets anymore, “it’s in our homes.”

Tarentino, who started his career in the city over two decades ago, has led agents in New Jersey and Seattle and took part in missions across the globe. Now back in New York, he said his number one priority is to keep people safe and make the city healthier.