CUMBERLAND, RI — Last March, federal drug agents secretly observed their confidential source meeting with his supplier of counterfeit Adderall pills, who then arranged for the pickup of 10,000 orange pills laced with methamphetamine powder.
Days after the drug purchase, according to court documents, federal authorities searched the Cumberland home of 27-year-old Dylan Rodas and another location, where in the basement they discovered a pill mill with “staggering” proportions – with possible links to a Mexican cartel. .
In total, officers seized about 660,500 counterfeit Adderall pills weighing about 660 pounds — as much as a V8 car engine, Rhode Island U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Cunha said Monday.
Rodas, who has been detained since March 28, agreed to plead guilty to drug trafficking charges in a case that remains an ongoing investigation, Cunha said.
“We believe this is the largest fake Adderall pill seizure in the United States,” he said, “as well as one of the largest methamphetamine seizures” in the United States. New England history.
The charge of possession with intent to distribute 500 grams or more of highly addictive methamphetamine carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison.
“The prosecutions we are announcing today, which involve the seizure of what I can only call industrial-scale quantities of methamphetamine, are a stark reminder that we cannot be complacent,” Cunha said. “We can’t treat meth like a problem that’s happening elsewhere.”
Brian Boyle, special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s field division in New England, said the pills would have been distributed “all over New England.” … It could even be outside of New England with this amount we see here.
When asked if Rodas was working with a Mexican cartel, Boyle said, “Mexican cartels are producing meth and fentanyl in record quantities in these jungles and these labs … and they’re flooding the US market, so this meth is leaving Mexico. .”
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Court records say the pill-making operation was located in the basement of the home of Rodas’ father and stepmother, who told investigators they knew nothing of what Rodas was doing there. Down behind the door he always kept locked.
There, officers found two electronic pill presses, each capable of producing 5,000 pills per hour, and the pills in question stored in at least five 27-gallon containers.
Neither Cunha nor Boyle said how long the pill mill had been in operation, citing the ongoing investigation.
Officers also seized a bucket containing 40 pounds of meth mix ready to be pressed into pills, packaging materials and binders, seven additional handguns and magazines, 250 grams of cocaine and “thousands of blue pills.” and roses containing a mixture and a substance containing fentanyl. ”
They also found $15,000 in cash.
Cunha said if the confiscated pills leaked onto the streets, they would have a “devastating effect in our communities”.
Cunha said the pills did not have the “fentanyl” or “meth” label on them. Instead, they’re “deliberately made to look like something else – whether it’s Adderall or Percocet or some other drug the buyer may think is safe and whatever it appears to be” .
“If you, or a loved one, buys or takes pills on the street, or from a friend, or anywhere that isn’t a pharmacy or a doctor, there’s a good chance that this not be what you think,” Cunha said.