AG Shapiro Charges Five With Operating Fentanyl Ring From Philadelphia To Butler County

April 30, 2021 | Topic: Criminal

Approximately 2,300 Stamp Bags of Heroin/Fentanyl, $230K in Cash Seized by Agents

HARRISBURG—Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced the arrest of five Pennsylvania residents for their role in the mass distribution and trafficking of heroin and fentanyl from Philadelphia to Butler County. This drug operation transported an estimated kilo of heroin/fentanyl for resale in Butler County with a street value of up to $400,000.

“11 Pennsylvanians die from opioids every day, and we will not sit idly by when dealers traffic poison across Pennsylvania and try to profit from devastating our communities,” said Attorney General Shapiro. “My office, along with our law enforcement partners, will continue to hold those accountable who profit from drug trafficking.”

The investigation, which utilized the 46th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury, identified five individuals who operated the ring between January and October 2020: Desirae Feitl, Quinzal Powell, Jodi Shirey, Brandi Zediker, and Crystal Pakutz. Powell, 30, orchestrated the sale and distribution of more than 1,000 grams, or 50,000 doses, of heroin and fentanyl between Philadelphia and Butler counties. Within Butler county during this window of time, Feitl and Pakutz each sold approximately 256 and 820 grams, or 12,800 and 41,000 doses, of heroin/fentanyl, respectively. Shirey and Zediker acted as distributors for the heroin and fentanyl being sold by Feitl and Pakutz.

On October 1, 2020, a search warrant was executed on a hotel room rented by Crystal Pakutz. During the search, a bag of fentanyl, a scale, empty stamp bags and other packaging materials were recovered. On October 15, 2020, Feitl was stopped and found to be in possession of seven bundles, or 70 bags, of fentanyl. A subsequent search of her residence produced 1121 stamp bags of fentanyl and approximately $10,000 in cash. An additional $221,000 was located in a storage locker rented by Feitl. On the same date, Powell was stopped during a traffic stop. A search of his vehicle produced 1150 stamp bags of fentanyl that were hidden under the center console.

“When multiple law enforcement agencies collaborate on an investigation, the community is the beneficiary. Thanks to a lengthy, joint investigation by the Office of Attorney General and the Butler County District Attorney’s Drug Task Force, huge quantities of heroin and fentanyl were removed from the streets of Butler County, and several hundred thousand dollars of drug money were seized,” said Butler County District Attorney Richard Goldinger. “Further, five individuals who were involved with the distribution for profit of these narcotics have been removed from our streets. It is with the utmost gratitude that I thank the men and women of these agencies who put their lives on the line to investigate and subsequently arrest these individuals and prevent their drugs from getting into the hands of Butler County citizens. Butler County is a safer place today due to their work.”

The defendants have each been charged with the following felonies: Corrupt Organizations, Delivery of a Controlled Substance, Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance, Criminal Use of a Communication Facility and Conspiracy.

This case was a joint investigation with the Office of Attorney General Bureau of Narcotics Investigations and the Butler County District Attorney’s Drug Task Force. The Butler City Police, Butler Township Police, Penn Township Police, and Butler County Sheriff’s Department also assisted in various aspects of this case. Investigators believe that the drugs trafficked in these communities by the defendants may have led to some overdose deaths in Butler County.

This case is being prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Kara Cotter. All charges are accusations. The defendants are innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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