Two men are facing federal charges after they were allegedly busted selling thousands of fentanyl pills in Connecticut.
Oscar Flores, age 34, of Mount Rainier, Maryland, and Severo Alelar, age 25, of Hyattsville, Maryland, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Hartford Thursday, Sept. 22, for fentanyl trafficking.
The indictment came just weeks after the pair was arrested on Thursday, Sept. 8 following a sting operation in Wethersfield, the US Attorney’s Office in Connecticut said.
Flores, Alelar, and others allegedly showed up to a prearranged meeting site in an SUV intending to sell approximately 15,000 fentanyl pills, prosecutors said.
What they didn’t know was that the buyers were actually undercover agents with the US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA).
The agents told the group that they needed to drive to a second location to pick up the money, prompting the pair to follow the agents in their SUV.
While driving to the second location, a Rocky Hill police officer attempted to stop the suspects' SUV for a traffic violation.
That’s when the driver of the SUV tried fleeing, driving over a curb into a grassy area on the side of the road before police boxed them in, prosecutors said.
Flores and Alelar were arrested after a police search of their vehicle reportedly turned up numerous Nerds candy boxes and Skittles bags containing thousands of fentanyl pills.
Fentanyl is a powerful, synthetic opioid that is 80 to 100 times stronger than morphine. Experts say it’s often added to other drugs, contributing to a rise in overdose deaths across the United States.
“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,” US Attorney Vanessa Roberts Avery said.
Flores and Alelar were each charged with conspiring to possess and distribute, as well as actually possessing and distributing, 40 grams or more of fentanyl.
If convicted, they face between five and 40 years in prison.
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