Members of two large-scale family-run drug organizations operating in Kent and New Castle counties have been federally indicted, U.S. Attorney David C. Weiss announced at a Thursday press conference.
The indictments describe years of crimes in a New Castle-area community in which a pair of brothers paid elderly residents in the Roasegate development to store, package and sell drugs. The organization also used an abandoned daycare facility to manufacture and package counterfeit methamphetamine and fentanyl pills, according to prosecutors.
“The defendants openly and brazenly trafficked large quantities of drugs in our community,” Weiss said. “These defendants also abused the trust of elderly Rosegate community members and flagrantly manufactured counterfeit pills in an abandoned daycare.
“We will pursue these charges to the fullest extent of the law,” he added, “and we will continue the investigation into those who traffic illegal drugs here in Delaware.”
More:‘We’ve all been left out’: Family not told prior to toddler’s mother taking murder plea
A second indictment issued for a Kent County family organization describes members of that group “wreaking havoc” in Dover, where Weiss said its members sold fentanyl, methamphetamine and cocaine — often conducting business in local restaurants such as Grotto Pizza and the Green Turtle.
This investigation ended with the seizure of multiple guns and drugs, including one of the largest fentanyl seizures in Delaware’s history — 7.5 kilograms, which comes to about 16.5 pounds of the potent synthetic opioid.
“I want to give you something to reference to understand how incredibly significant that is,” said Patrick J. Trainor, the Acting Assistant Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration in Philadelphia. “Conservatively, that’s 380,000 potentially lethal doses of fentanyl.”
The DEA, along with the FBI, Delaware State Police, New Castle County Police and other state and local law enforcement agencies conducted these investigations, which resulted in 16 people being indicted by a federal grand jury in Wilmington in these two matters — 12 in the New Castle County case and four in the Kent County matter.
Among the charges they face are conspiracy and narcotics distribution.
Nine other people were indicted in the Rosegate case in different jurisdictions: eight by a New Castle County grand jury and one by a federal grand jury in the U.S. District of New Jersey.
Weiss said the organizations appear to have worked independently of one another even though members of the Dover and Rosegate organizations are linked by marriage — one of the Dover heads is the father-in-law of one of the leaders of the Rosegate organization.
More:How cocaine bought in Hockessin led to overdoses and dismantling of drug trafficking group
Editor’s note: In recent years, Delaware Online/The News Journal has changed its approach to covering crime and courts and typically does not identify people charged for all but the most serious cases, such as murder. Delaware Online also does not typically publish names unless the crime had a larger impact on the public or it involved a public official.
Contact Esteban Parra at (302) 324-2299 or email@example.com.