Two Maryland men indicted on charges of trafficking thousands of fentanyl pills to Connecticut stashed in candy boxes

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Two Maryland men were indicted by a grand jury on drug trafficking charges Friday after thousands of fentanyl pills were found during a traffic stop earlier this month in Rocky Hill, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Oscar Flores, 34, of Mount Rainier, Maryland, and Severo Alelar, 25, of Hyattsville, Maryland, and others met with an undercover Drug Enforcement Agency agent in Wethersfield on Sept. 8 to allegedly sell around 15,000 fentanyl pills, according to court documents and statements made in court.

After Flores reportedly showed the agent a sample of the pills, the agent said he needed to go to another location to pick up the money for the pills. The group, including Rainier and Alelar, followed the agent’s vehicle in an SUV as they traveled into Rocky Hill.

After an officer from the Rocky Hill Police Department tried to pull over the SUV for an alleged traffic violation, the SUV tried to speed away, running over a curb into a grass area on the side of the road where law enforcement vehicles boxed it in.

Investigators searched the SUV and found “numerous Nerds candy boxes and Skittles candy bags containing thousands of fentanyl pills,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Flores and Alelar were charged with conspiracy to distribute, and to possess with intent to distribute, 40 grams or more of fentanyl, and with possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Both men have been in custody since Sept. 8, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

Each charge carries a mandatory minimum of five years in prison with a maximum of 40 years in prison if convicted, according to U.S. Attorney’s Office.

“Trafficking fentanyl is already and undoubtedly a serious offense, but one doesn’t have to stretch their imagination too far to consider how disguising fentanyl pills in children’s candy packaging, as we allege, can result in even more tragic consequences in the community,” U.S. Attorney Vanessa Avery said in a statement.

As fentanyl continues to cause deaths in record numbers, DEA Special Agent in Charge Brian Boyle said pursuing anyone who distributes the drug is a top priority for the DEA.

“Illegal drug distribution ravages the very foundations of our families and communities so every time we take pills containing fentanyl off the streets, lives are undoubtedly saved,” Boyle said.