BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — Nine people were indicted by a federal grand jury in October for allegedly participating in a drug ring that brought heroin, fentanyl, and cocaine into Jefferson County, according to officials.
The nine suspects were indicted on charges mostly related to a conspiracy to distribute drugs between September 2015 and October 2016.
The 57-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges Anthony Levy Ward, 35, of Chelsea; Felando Camise Mims, 19; Onandas Carmece Beard, 19; Anthony Levy Alexander, 56; Betty Levy Alexander, 50; and Corey Darnelle Haynes, 56, who are all from Birmingham.
The indictment also charges Jose Agustin Gutierrez, 31; Jesus Ubaldo Montoya, 22; and Marahai Ardizo Enriquez, 24; who are all from Phoenix, Ariz.
The indictment seeks a $1.7 million monetary judgement against the defendants as proceeds of illegal activity, according to the release.
“Even a small amount of fentanyl can be lethal,” Stephen G. Azzam, the DEA Special Agent in Charge said. “There is a disturbing trend across the nation, including here in the Birmingham area, of heroin dealers adding fentanyl to their heroin to increase the potency. As a result, we have seen an alarming increase in overdoses, many of which have resulted in death.”
The crimes stated in the indictment include conspiring to traffic heroin and cocaine, possession of fentanyl with intention to distribute, illegal gun possession, and using telephones to facilitate a drug-trafficking crime. The sentences range from a minimum of four years to a maximum of life in prison along with multi-million dollar fines.
The case is being prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Alabama.