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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Pa. (CBS) – A multi-organization law enforcement investigation, over the course of two years, has led to the arrest of 25 people linked to one of the largest fentanyl trafficking organizations in Montgomery County.
Investigators say five men were running an extensive drug ring with David Cooper as its alleged ringleader.
“These men were dealing in death. They were delivering the poison that has fueled the addictions and overdoses that have affected so many people in Montgomery County,” said Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele.
On display were items seized during search warrants and arrests–illegal guns, drugs and drug-making material. The sting– dubbed “Operation Poison Control” came to a head on June 1 after police used wiretaps and surveillance to track a drug transfer in progress. It led to them finding a secret compartment in a Honda Odyssey minivan, that exposed the highly lethal fentanyl.
“This compartment springs open and what that revealed was 198.6 grams of Fentanyl,” said Steele.
Prosecutors say that equates to nearly 6,600 doses on the street. Just last year Montgomery County recorded 245 overdose deaths.
“Fentanyl is 40-50 times stronger than heroin and it is now counting for the majority of overdosed deaths in Montgomery County,” said Steele.
Overall prosecutors hope this major drug bust sends a strong message to dealers.
“By taking these major drug dealers off the street and by arresting dealers who are a part of this drug organization we’ve severed an artery in this region’s drug pipeline,” Steele added.
Seven illegal handguns and 3,400 dollars in cash were also seized during the course of these arrests.
Four of the five men allegedly at the head of this drug ring are being held on a million dollars cash bail.