State Police seize 6.5 kilos of fentanyl in wide-ranging drug bust, one suspect still at large

State Police made a series of drug busts over the weekend that netted 6.5 kilograms of fentanyl, a gun, scores of pills and $13,000 in cash along with several arrests, officials announced Monday.

“This literally in front of me represents death,” said Massachusetts State Police Col. Christopher Mason at a Monday press conference, standing before a table filled with bricks of alleged fentanyl and bags of pills.

Mason made the announcement along with officials from Homeland Security and the Brockton and East Bridgewater police departments.  He said the bust “dealt severe blows” to two high volume drug trafficking organizations operating out of the Merrimack Valley.

The multiple police searches and seizures were conducted between Thursday and Saturday morning, targeting alleged dealers in the southeast part of the state and suppliers in the Merrimack Valley. In all, the police seized 6.5 kilograms of fentanyl, about 14 pounds, with an estimated street value of $1.4 million, hundreds of pills and made five arrests. The busts were all made within 48 hours, according to Mason.

“The danger of 6.5 kilos of fentanyl in our communities cannot be measured,” said Mason. Other drugs taken by police included methamphetamine, Xanax, Oxycodone, heroin, cocaine and marijuana.

During the course of the investigation, police were able to identify a house in Methuen that was connected with suspected drug distribution activity. While that house was under surveillance, and as police worked to obtain a search warrant, they allowed Anthony Levine, 30, to leave the house, “because of the time it took to secure the search warrant,” Mason said.

Levine was on a court-ordered monitoring bracelet due to narcotics trafficking and firearms violations out of Norfolk Superior Court. He is still at large, said Mason.

“Shortly after the seizure, the bracelet ceased operation. We are actively seeking Mr. Levine,” said Mason.

“I think the message here is that we’re still very much in the game. Despite COVID, despite the other things that are going on both locally and nationally, that we still remain committed to fighting opioids,” said Mason.

Homeland Security Investigations Deputy Special Agent-in-Charge David Magdycz said, “We cannot and will not stand idly by as criminal organizations target our citizens as a means of profit, with blatant disregard for their health and safety.”

East Bridgewater Police Chief Paul O’Brien said, “It affects big cities but it also affects small towns. During COVID we’ve seen the increase in overdoses from fentanyl use.”

Potential gang affiliations and networks associated with the operation are still under investigation, Mason said.

More: State Police seize 6.5 kilos of fentanyl in wide-ranging drug bust, one suspect still at large