Two Maryland men were charged with trafficking thousands of fentanyl pills into Connecticut, the Justice Department said Friday.
The U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut and the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England announced that a federal grand jury in Hartford returned an indictment Thursday charging 34-year-old Oscar Flores of Mount Rainier, and 25-year-old Severo Alelar of Hyattsville with fentanyl trafficking offenses.
Court documents and statements made in court Sept. 8 alleged Flores, Alelar and others arrived in an SUV at a meeting location in Wethersfield to sell approximately 15,000 fentanyl pills to an undercover DEA agent.
After Flores showed the undercover agent a sample of the pills, the agent said he needed to travel to another location to pick up the money.
The two men and others followed the agent's vehicle as they traveled south into Rocky Hill.
When a Rocky Hill police officer attempted to stop the vehicle for a traffic violation, it ran over a roadside curb onto a grass area where law enforcement vehicles boxed in the suspect vehicle.
Upon search of the vehicle, investigators found numerous Nerds candy boxes and Skittles candy bags containing thousands of fentanyl pills.
Flores and Alelar are charged with conspiracy to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl and with possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl.
Each charge has a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years and a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years.
"Trafficking fentanyl is already and undoubtedly a serious offense, but one doesn’t have to stretch their imagination too far to consider how disguising fentanyl pills in children’s candy packaging, as we allege, can result in even more tragic consequences in the community," said Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut. "I thank the DEA Task Force members for their work in this investigation and for taking this substantial quantity of fentanyl off the street."
"Fentanyl is causing deaths in record numbers, and DEA’s top priority is to aggressively pursue anyone who distributes this poison in order to profit and destroy people’s lives," Brian Boyle, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England, said. "Illegal drug distribution ravages the very foundations of our families and communities. So, every time we take pills containing fentanyl off the streets, lives are undoubtedly saved."
Flores and Alelar have been detained since Sept. 8.