Feds announce indictments of 2 people accused of trafficking fentanyl

Feds announce indictments of 2 people accused of trafficking fentanyl
Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 10:42 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 6, 2022 at 2:28 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Officials with the United States Department of Justice were in Evansville Wednesday afternoon for a press conference.

U.S. Attorney Zachary Myers was joined by representatives from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Vanderburgh County Sheriff’s Office and the Evansville Police Department.

They announced the indictments of two people accused of trafficking fentanyl in the Evansville area.

According to court documents, 29-year-old Ethan Parker of Evansville allegedly obtained pound quantities of fentanyl powder from an unknown source of supply in the Louisville, Kentucky area, and manufactured fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills using a pill press.

Officials say Parker then supplied 30-year-old Joshua Harvey of Evansville and others with fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills. Harvey also allegedly transported Parker to the Louisville area to get pound quantities of fentanyl powder in order to manufacture and distribute the fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills.

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“People need to understand that when we see all these terrible, fatal overdoses, they’re not always the result of people knowingly taking fentanyl and other opioids,” Myers said. “What they’re really buying is these deadly drugs that are put in there by drug dealers who just don’t care.”

Both men are charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl, illegal distribution of a tableting machine, and illegal possession of a tableting machine.

“So they’re selling them on the streets, they’re selling them online,” Myers said.

If convicted of conspiring to distribute fentanyl, Parker and Harvey face 10 years to life in prison, as well as a fine of up to $10,000,000.

Meanwhile, Parker faces up to four years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000 for the distribution or possession of a tableting machine charges.

“Here in Vanderburgh County, we had 106 fatal drug overdoes for 2021,” DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Michael Gannon said. “Of that, 61 were fentanyl-related.”

“Last year was the highest amount of overdoses that we’ve had – that hits home,” EPD Assistant Chief Phil Smith said. “You see these people at your grocery stores, you see them at the shopping centers and some of these families will never have their loved ones again.”

Here is the full news conference:

This story is being updated with details.

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