HYATTSVILLE, Md. — Vanessa Roberts Avery, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, and Brian D. Boyle, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration for New England, today announced that a federal grand jury in Hartford has returned an indictment yesterday charging OSCAR FLORES, 34, of Mount Rainier, Maryland, and SEVERO ALELAR, 25, of Hyattsville, Maryland, with fentanyl trafficking offenses.
As alleged in court documents and statements made in court, on September 8, 2022, Flores, Alelar and others arrived in an SUV at a meeting location in Wethersfield to sell approximately 15,000 fentanyl pills to an undercover DEA agent.
After Flores showed the undercover agent a sample on the fentanyl pills, the agent indicated that he needed to travel to another location to pick up the money.
Flores, Alelar and the others followed the undercover agent’s vehicle as they traveled south into Rocky Hill. When a Rocky Hill police officer attempted to stop the SUV for a traffic violation, the SUV sped and ran over a roadside curb onto a grass area along the side of the road where law enforcement vehicles boxed it in.
Investigators searched the SUV and found numerous Nerds candy boxes and Skittles candy bags containing thousands of fentanyl pills.
“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,” said U.S. Attorney Avery. “I thank the DEA Task Force members for their work in this investigation and for taking this substantial quantity of fentanyl off the street.”
“Fentanyl is causing deaths in record numbers and DEA’s top priority is to aggressively pursue anyone who distributes this poison in order to profit and destroy people’s lives,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Boyle. “Illegal drug distribution ravages the very foundations of our families and communities so every time we take pills containing fentanyl off the streets, lives are undoubtedly saved. This investigation demonstrates the strength of collaborative local, county and state law enforcement efforts in Connecticut and our strong partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Offices.”
The indictment charges Flores and Alelar with conspiracy to distribute, and to possess with intent to distribute, 40 grams or more of fentanyl, and with possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl.
Each charge carries a mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years a maximum term of imprisonment of 40 years.
U.S. Attorney Avery stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Flores and Alelar have been detained since September 8, 2022.
Following the announcement of the charges, health departments across the country began chiming in about how dangerous these pill are.
“These are real images of fentanyl pills disguised AS CANDY that were trafficked into Connecticut by two Maryland residents. Fentanyl is causing deaths in record numbers and it’s obvious who criminals are targeting with these colorful pills.” the Worcester County Health Department in Maryland said in a post on social media. “Please have conversations with your children.”
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