Southeastern PA

Lethal drug makes local appearance, puts 2 men behind bars

NORRISTOWN, Pa. - A major drug bust in Montgomery County -- months in the making.

"These dealers of death are now behind bars and charged with multiple felonies," said Kevin Steele.

Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele announced the arrests of 26-year-old Jamil Chapman and 23-year-old Nasai Chapman.

The two are accused of buying the drugs fentanyl and carfentanil on the dark web from China and having it shipped to Lower and Upper Merion Townships.

The district attorney says this is the first case of carfentanil found in the area. The drug is 100 times stronger than fentanyl.

"Carfentanil is an elephant tranquilizer, this poison can incapacitate a 6,600 pound elephant," Steele said.

Steele says the investigation started in June 2017 at an apartment complex in Lower Merion.

Investigators say the Chapmans -- a nephew and uncle duo -- were cutting fentanyl and carfentanil when Jamil overdosed but was brought back to life by police using naloxone.

"We believe he overdoses just by contact with these deadly drugs," Steele said.

A few months later police returned to the same apartment complex and found 75 bags of the drugs and other evidence.

By tracking emails, recorded phone calls and money transfers, investigators were then able to intercept multiple packages at JFK International Airport.

"These shipments of carfentanil bought on the dark web totaled, we believe between 400 and 500 grams of carfentanil," Steele said.

Steele applauded the hard work of all the law enforcement agencies involved ranging from federal to local levels. But he says the big concern is that carfentanil is now here -- police are finding it mixed with other drugs like cocaine and marijuana -- and even the tiniest bit can be a death sentence.

"The fact that it was this easy for these folks to order this and get it shipped here is really dangerous," Steele said.

The Chapmans are being held at the Montgomery County Correctional Facility -- each on $250,000 cash bail.

The DA is asking anyone with information on this case to contact police. I's still unclear exactly where all of the carfentanil was distributed.

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