Attorney General Josh Shapiro Announces Arrest of Major Drug Manufacturer and Supplier in Allentown

March 1, 2019 | Topic: Opioids

Colton Nace Manufactured and Sold More Than 500,000 Ecstasy Pills, Intended to Make Counterfeit Oxycodone Pills with Fentanyl

HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced the arrest of an Allentown man for manufacturing and supplying hundreds of thousands of Ecstasy pills with a street value of more than $1 million over a two-year period, as well as for possession of fentanyl, methamphetamine, and an illegal firearm. Colton Nace, 29, of West Cumberland Street, Allentown, was charged with Possession with Intent to Deliver a Controlled Substance, Manufacturing a Controlled Substance, Persons Not to Possess, Use, Manufacture, Control, Sell, or Transfer Firearms, and six related charges.

“Drug addiction is ravaging our communities and destroying lives—and drug manufacturers and dealers such as this are adding fuel to the epidemic,” said Attorney General Josh Shapiro. “Lehigh County has been especially hurt by the opioid crisis, and has the seventh highest overdose rate in the Commonwealth. My goal as the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of Pennsylvania is to take dangerous drugs out of our communities and prosecute those who are pushing these poisons. I’m proud of the work of our Agents to bring this man to justice.”

On February 28, 2019, Agents executed a search warrant of Nace’s residence based on information gathered from confidential informants, controlled purchases, surveillance and other investigative means that he was manufacturing and supplying Ecstasy. Agents recovered the following from the defendant’s residence:

  • 1,000 suspected Ecstasy pills,
  • 31 grams of fentanyl,
  • 1.5 pounds of multi-colored powder/methamphetamine mixture,
  • 29.1 grams of crystal methamphetamine,
  • 5 pounds of high grade marijuana,
  • One (1) a stolen Sig P230 .380 caliber handgun,
  • $2,000.00 US Currency; and
  • a commercial pill press and other packaging and paraphernalia utilized to manufacture pills.

The defendant admitted to manufacturing and selling the pills, which he made by mixing ground up crystal methamphetamine with an inert binding agent and pressing the pills in the pill press. Nace also stated that he recently purchased a quantity of fentanyl from an online source and was in the process of using that fentanyl to make counterfeit oxycodone pills to sell. In addition, the defendant was charged for possession of a firearm, which he was prohibited from having due to a prior felony conviction.

Nace admitted to manufacturing and selling at least 5,000 pills a week for the past two years for a total of over 500,000 pills.  The pills were sold for $2 per pill for a street value of over $1 million.

The defendant was transported to Lehigh County Jail where he is awaiting arraignment on these charges. This investigation is ongoing and additional arrests are anticipated. The investigation was conducted by the Allentown Regional Office of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, Bureau of Narcotics Investigation and Drug Control and the case is being prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Timothy Doherty.

In 2017, there were 174 overdose deaths in Lehigh County—a 30% increase from 2016. This is the seventh highest overdose rate in Pennsylvania.

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