Man accused of possessing nearly 2 pounds of fentanyl pills

·1 min read

Jul. 15—A Johnstown native was arrested with a package full of fentanyl — close to 2 pounds of pills containing the powerful narcotic — and could now spend more than a decade behind bars for it, federal investigators said.

Charles Triplin, 44, of Goldsboro, North Carolina, was indicted Tuesday after agents intercepted a package containing 1.77 pounds of pills that were en route to an Oak Street residence in Johnstown, a criminal complaint shows.

After verifying the contents contained fentanyl, Cambria County Drug Task Force agents worked with U.S. Postal Service inspectors to deliver the package to its intended destination, a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court shows.

Triplin arrived afterward and entered the residence, leading investigators to execute a search warrant on the home, U.S. Postal Inspector Staci Johnson wrote in the one-page complaint.

The package was addressed to another individual, the homeowner.

But when police arrived, only Triplin was inside — and in "possession" of the drugs, Johnson wrote.

Investigators said a search of his cellphone showed he had the tracking information for the package — and that he admitted he "was going to be paid to pick up the parcel for an unnamed individual" and that the home's tenant was not involved.

Triplin is charged with possessing 400 grams or more of a mixture containing a detectable amount of fentanyl, which carries a minimum sentence of 10 years to life in prison, if convicted — a range that depends on several factors, including prior criminal history.

Court documents show Triplin has been ordered to home confinement while awaiting trial. He has hired Pittsburgh-based Defense Attorney Komron Jon Maknoon to represent him.

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