FBI seizes hoarded respirator masks, will distribute to NY area health workers

Seizure part of task force designed to stop hoarding and price gouging during coronavirus pandemic.

Published: April 2, 2020 7:33pm

Updated: April 2, 2020 8:49pm

Authorities will disburse nearly 200,000 respirator masks and other critical medical supplies to health care workers after the FBI seized the hoarded equipment from a supplier amid the coronavirus crisis. 

The personal protective equipment, which includes about 192,000 N95 respirator masks, as well as 598,000 medical grade gloves, 130,000 surgical masks and more, is being disbursed to assist healthcare workers in New York and New Jersey as those states contend with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The owner from whom the supplies were seized will receive compensation for the equipment equivalent to its pre-COVID-19 fair market value.

"The FBI discovered the supplies during an enforcement operation by the Department of Justice's COVID-19 Hoarding and Price Gouging Task Force on March 30 and alerted HHS which used its authority under Defense Production Act (DPA) to order that the supplies be immediately furnished to the United States," according to the Department of Justice.

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