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Two Maryland men have been charged with trafficking thousands of fentanyl pills into Connecticut, the Justice Department announced Friday.
The U.S. District Attorney for Connecticut and the New England Drug Enforcement Administration announced that a federal grand jury in Hartford returned an indictment on Thursday indicting Oscar Flores, 34, of Mount Rainier, and Severo Alelar, 25 years old, from Hyattsville. with fentanyl trafficking offences.
Court documents and statements made in court on September 8 alleged that Flores, Alelar and others arrived in an SUV at a meeting place in Wethersfield to sell approximately 15,000 fentanyl tablets to an undercover DEA agent.
After Flores showed the undercover agent a sample of the pills, the agent said he needed to go to another location to collect the money.
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The two men and others followed the officer’s vehicle as it headed south to Rocky Hill.
When a Rocky Hill police officer attempted to stop the vehicle for a traffic violation, he drove over a roadside curb into a grassy area where law enforcement vehicles locked up the suspect vehicle .
During the search of the vehicle, investigators found numerous boxes of Nerds candy and bags of Skittles candy containing thousands of fentanyl pills.
Flores and Alelar are charged with conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl and possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl.
Each charge carries a mandatory minimum prison sentence of five years and a maximum prison sentence of 40 years.
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“Fentanyl trafficking is already and undoubtedly a serious crime, but one need not stretch the imagination too far to consider how concealing fentanyl pills in children’s candy wrappers, as we claim, can have even more tragic consequences in the community.” said Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut. “I thank the members of the DEA Task Force for their work in this investigation and for removing this significant amount of fentanyl from the streets.”
“Fentanyl is causing deaths in record numbers, and the DEA’s top priority is to aggressively prosecute anyone who distributes this poison in order to profit and destroy people’s lives,” said Brian Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England. “The illegal distribution of drugs ravages the very foundations of our families and communities. So every time we pull fentanyl-containing pills off the streets, lives are undoubtedly saved.”
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Flores and Alelar have been detained since September 8.