The drug fentanyl was allegedly sold on the dark web and acquired by the apprehended drug distributor through Dark Web mass-market drug networks.
Deirdre M. Daly, US Attorney, admitted at a news conference during the afternoon of the drug bust that the state is struggling with a serious opioid epidemic.
One that’s tragically caused numerous deaths throughout the nation and the ground-breaking investigation has successfully busted a major fentanyl supplier.
She said that the operation has provided an “important window” on how the drug winds up on Connecticut’s streets.
Daly adds that this act exhibits an excellent example of effective collaboration between the feds and the locals.
The major Dark Web drug distribution raid stems from a joint investigation conducted by task force agents from the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England, Wethersfield Police Department, and New Britain Police.
Special Agent Michael J. Ferguson, an authority figure in Charge of New England’s DEA Operations said that the raid is likewise among the largest fentanyl seizures in the whole New England region.
Fentanyl Drug Epidemic
Last year, 444 people died of overdoses caused by heroin, morphine, codeine, and fentanyl.
In 2016, the first two months alone already tallies 93 opioid deaths.
The drug arrives in powder and pill form which are thought to be purchased from the Dark Web.
Fentanyl is a powerful opiate in itself, with as few as 3 to 4 single grains enough to kill a person and could be 50 times stronger than heroin.
When combined, the resulting drug’s potency is undoubtedly more fatal.
Most of the drug found in New England is said to be manufactured in China, which is then mixed with heroin, then distributed to the US through Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel.
Operation “Jackpot” Hit the Jackpot
An investigation involving fentanyl was initiated in December 2015, dubbed as Operation Jackpot derived from the name of the opiate batch sold by one of the drug dealers.
Joint forces that combed through 130 Sunrise Ave. successfully seized 2.5 kilos of fentanyl in powder form, valued at about $100,000 per kilogram, 2 kilos of party drug Molly, 40 pounds of cannabis, 50,000 counterfeit Xanax pills, butane hash oil, steroids, two firearms, and $500,000 cash.
Authorities believe that some of the drugs were purchased from various Dark Web markets.
Eight other houses were also raided at the same time, including defendant McBriarty’s Bristol home at 34 Nicholas Court and his uncle’s place at 52 Sheila Court, Apt. 316, as well as another defendant, Petersen’s home at 390 Hillhurst Avenue in New Britain.
The other arrested individuals are namely John Casadei from Morris, 45; Jared McBriarty from Bristol, 31; and Kyle Petersen from New Britain, 30.
Upon conviction, the mandatory minimum is a 10-year term and a maximum of life in prison.
The remaining six are Charles Orcutt from Windsor, 27; Isaac Ortiz from Newington, 35; Jesus Correa from New Britain, 41; Carlos Enriquez from Enfield, 27; Dominique Greco from Cromwell, 29; Tomasz Ziobron from New Britain, 30, who are charged with offense that carry a maximum of 20 years in prison upon conviction.
It’s said that Casadei got the opioids from Dark Web marketplaces and utilized them as well to ship fentanyl in large quantities from China.
The defendants were altogether charged by a criminal complaint made up of 98 pages, with Orcutt released on a $10,000 bond.