Authorities in Summit County, Ohio, arrested three suspects for oxycodone and marijuana distribution. The suspects, according to police, had been receiving packages of oxycodone pills through the mail and reselling them. Later, Summit County officials terminated the case and named all three suspects in a new indictment for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute and one count of possession with intent to distribute. The second indictment, though, referenced the distribution of fentanyl instead of oxycodone.
Not unlike an overwhelming number of darknet-related arrests this year, the “oxycodone” pills never contained oxycodone at all. Instead, as a drug test conducted by investigators later confirmed, the pills contained fentanyl. This time, unlike many of the similar fentanyl cases here on DeepDotWeb, the dealers may not have known the pills they had been ordering actually contained fentanyl instead of the advertised active ingredient.
U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman, in a press release, said the case served as a “reminder that drugs bought on the street don’t come with a verified list of ingredients and people have no idea what they are putting into their body.” He also told reporters that the arrest of the three suspected dealers—Gerald Bowerman, Cortney Williams, and Emmett Nelson—somehow “save[d] at least 1,500 lives.” In the U.S. Attorney’s scenario, the trio sold 1,280 fentanyl pills to more than 1,260 buyers and every buyer overdosed.
The police seized a total of 1,260 pills during the arrests on April 17. The Criminal Complaint explained—in incredibly vague terms—that Ohio authorities had gathered intelligence that indicated the trio had been selling oxycodone pills. The documents explained that law enforcement watched the trio pick up a package of suspected pills. The alleged dealers returned to one of their homes without spotting any surveillance teams. Even those posted outside of the house.
Law enforcement watched all three leave the vehicle and enter the house. Bowerman, the Criminal Complaint said, carried the package. Less than 20 minutes later, Bowerman left the house and entered his Porsche Cayenne. Police stopped him before he made it out of the driveway. One minute later, authorities executed a search warrant and entered the house. Officers outside the building caught Williams attempting to enter another SUV parked outside.
Williams had 260 oxycodone (fentanyl) pills, a ledger filled with transaction logs, a scale, and a small amount of marijuana. The ledger had an entry for a transaction involving 260 pills. Inside the house, the police discovered 1,000 pills on a table next to an empty USPS package. The same package Bowerman had carried into the house. They also found Nelson and 25 pounds of marijuana.
After reading the group their Miranda Rights, all three acknowledged that they understood their rights. Nelson and Williams agreed to talk to the police. They revealed effectively everything, including the fact that they had been selling drugs for almost five years. Bowerman also agreed to talk to the police. He acknowledged that he knew Nelson, but denied any knowledge of any package and similarly denied having knowledge of any contents of any alleged package. The police reminded him that they had seen him carry the package into the house, but he gave them nothing.
They have been sitting in police custody since the raid. They will reappear in court next week.