(The Center Square) – An overdose death led federal authorities to seize hundreds of pounds of methamphetamine, illicit fentanyl and cocaine – including heart-shaped fentanyl pills resembling candy – in what’s thought to be one of the largest seizures in New England.
Authorities seized an estimated 10 million doses of controlled substances, including eight million doses of fentanyl and methamphetamine laced pills and powder. Prosecutors estimated the total street value of the drugs was upward of $8 million.
Authorities also arrested three men for allegedly running the drug trafficking organization on the North Shore of Massachusetts.
Emilio Garcia, 25, of Lynn, Massachusetts, was charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and possess controlled substances with intent to distribute and one count of possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute.
Sebastien Bejin, 33, of Lynn, Massachusetts, was charged with one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances and possess controlled substances with intent to distribute and one count of possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute.
Deiby Felix, 40, of Lynn, Massachusetts, was charged with one count of possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute.
All three are set to appear in U.S. District Court on Nov. 13.
“The only thing more depraved than trafficking deadly fentanyl is trafficking deadly fentanyl designed to look like candy to appeal to teenagers,” U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a statement. “The Justice Department is focused on attacking every link in the global fentanyl trafficking chain, and we will not stop until those responsible for the fentanyl poisoning epidemic are brought to justice.”
An investigation into an overdose death in Salem, Massachusetts, in July led investigators to the drug organization allegedly led by Garcia, Bejin and Felix, according to court documents.
Law enforcement officials watched the three men for three months. That led to search warrants and arrests on Wednesday, Nov. 1, according to prosecutors.
Authorities found seized the drugs from the basement of a two-family residential home. They found:
- More than 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of white powder and rock like substances which field tested positive for methamphetamine and cocaine base;
- More than 17 kilograms (37 pounds) of suspected raw methamphetamine which equates to approximately more than 3.5 million individual doses;
- Approximately 280,000 counterfeit Percocet pills, believed to contain fentanyl, weighing 28 kilograms (61 pounds) with a street value in the range of approximately $1.4 million to over $7 million;
- More than 27 kilograms (59 pounds) of counterfeit Adderall pills, believed to contain methamphetamine; and
- Approximately 1.8 kilograms (four pounds) of brown rock and powder-like substances, which tested positive for cocaine, fentanyl, and methamphetamine. This quantity of fentanyl equates to about 900,000 individual doses.
Officials also seized five firearms and cash found during the searches.
The heart-shaped pills tested positive for methamphetamine and fentanyl, according to court records.