The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced indictments against three Summit County, Ohio residents for conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute fentanyl and possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. Gerald Bowerman, Emmet Nelson, and Cortney Williams were found in possession of 1,500 pills made to look like oxycodone but actually contained fentanyl. U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman said, “This case is another stark 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. Those who make the mistake of trying these drugs can be making the last mistake of their lives.”
According to the press release, on April 19, 2018, Bowerman, Nelson, and Williams drove from Akron to Louisville, Ohio. When the trio returned to Akron that same day, Bowerman was observed carrying a package as they entered a home. A search of that home was executed a short time later and at that time, Williams was found to be in possession of 260 fentanyl pills made to look like oxycodone and approximately 1,000 additional pills were on the counter next to an empty U.S. Postal Service package. Authorities also recovered a drug ledger that detailed the amount of pills sold and delivered by Williams.
Akron Police Chief Kenneth Ball said: “The battle against the opioid crisis takes many shapes and impacts a widely diverse group. In this instance, criminal predators were willing to put so many at great risk by poisoning prescription drugs with fentanyl. Communities and families continue to suffer significantly because of acts like this. Fortunately, law enforcement continues to work together to hold these despicable lawbreakers accountable.”
This case was the result of a combined investigation done by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Summit County Drug Unit, and the Akron Police Department. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Vasile Katsaros and Patrick Burke are prosecuting this case for the DOJ.