The FBI seized more than 220 pounds of drugs in Massachusetts last week in a massive drug bust — believed to be the most drugs ever found in a single spot in New England.
The FBI task force found 10 million doses of drugs with a street value of $8 million during a search on November 1 in Lynn just north of Boston, the Justice Department said in a press release Monday. The stash included eight million doses of fentanyl and methamphetamine laced pills and powder.
Among the drugs were 20 pounds of pink, heart-shaped, fentanyl-laced pills that were “pressed to look like candy,” the Justice Department said.
Authorities also found brown rock and powder-like substances, which tested positive for cocaine and other drugs, and counterfeit Adderall pills believed to contain methamphetamines.
Three men were arrested in connection with allegedly running the “large-scale drug trafficking organization,” authorities said.
A 25-year-old man, Emilio Garcia, also known as “6” and a 33-year-old man, Sebastien Bejin, also known as Bash, were each charged with two counts, including possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute. A third 40-year-old man, Deiby Felix, was charged with just one count of possession of controlled substances with intent to distribute.
If convicted, the men face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for each charge.
They are scheduled to appear in court on November 13.
FBI Director Christopher Wray said that the seizure “saved lives in communities throughout Massachusetts.”
“Not only was this seizure one of the largest in the history of Massachusetts, but some of the pills were created to look like candy, potentially presenting an enormous risk to children,” Wray said.
The number of doses is greater than the number of people living in Massachusetts, said Acting U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Levy for the District of Massachusetts.
“The fact that we now are seeing fentanyl-laced pills pressed to resemble candy only underscores the urgency of this fentanyl crisis,” Levy said.
Fentanyl, a synthetic opioid that is cheap to make and easily transported, is about 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. Because it is often cut with other drugs, users may often be unaware that they are consuming the powerful substance, which can be deadly even in small doses.
As little as two milligrams of fentanyl weighing the same as a few grains of salt can cause a fatal overdose, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
Fentanyl has been on the rise in the U.S. for years. In a public safety alert, the DEA said that six out of ten fentanyl pills the agency tests contain a potentially lethal dose.
In 2022, more than two-thirds of the 107,081 drug overdose deaths involved synthetic opioids, mostly illegal fentanyl, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).