Authorities say among other things, they found 20 pounds of pink fentanyl pills in the shape of candy hearts.
“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 federal investigation began in July, when someone died from an overdose in Salem. Three Lynn residents became targets of surveillance and now are under arrest.
Deiby Felix, 40, is accused of hiding fentanyl and methamphetamine in his home basement.
The other suspects are Sebastien Bejin, 33 and Emilio Garcia, 25. They face two federal drug counts each while Felix faces one.
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“The doses of controlled substances seized in this case exceed the number of residents in Massachusetts,” acting U.S. prosecutor Joshua Levy said.
All the seized items have a combined estimated street value of $8 million and weigh more than 220 pounds.
“As we stand in this room today, six people in Massachusetts are going to die of opioid-related overdoses,” Levy said at a news conference covered by the Boston Herald. “Six people today, six people tomorrow, six people Wednesday.”
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If convicted, the three suspects could receive 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
WFXT-TV reported Pedro Bernabel, 31, received 14 months in prison and three years of supervised release.
Prosecutors say at least one of his customers was a veteran who thought fentanyl could treat a substance abuse disorder.
A second suspect in that case received a two-year prison term the week before.
Garland calls the nationwide discoveries of fentanyl a “poisoning epidemic.”
He urged families “to have open and honest conversations about the urgent threat posed by this epidemic, and the fact that just one pill can kill.”
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