The shipment of new mugs that the staff of a restaurant in Maine had been anticipating was not what they found when they opened the order on Friday; instead, they discovered $3 million worth of fentanyl. The big wooden crate was broken open by employees of Mac’s Grill in Auburn expecting it to contain the cups they had purchased, but instead, according to Auburn police, they found a plastic tote containing 31 pounds of the lethal substance wrapped into bricks.
Although the name “Jeremy Mercier” was listed above the restaurant’s address on the tote’s shipping label, nobody with that name worked there. Police were waiting with handcuffs when the mystery man came an hour later at the restaurant asking for a parcel that had been mailed with his name on it. This was because restaurant personnel had phoned the police.
Along with the $3 million worth of fentanyl, police detained 41-year-old Mercier and seized $2,780 from him as evidence of alleged drug dealing proceeds. It’s unknown why the man picked Mac’s Grill to receive the narcotics, but Mike Peters, the restaurant’s owner, said he and his staff were pleased to have assisted in the seizure of the extremely dangerous opiates.
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He said in a statement to WMTW, “I am glad that this fentanyl didn’t make it to the’street.” “The number of overdose deaths in our community and the neighboring areas is horrifying, and fentanyl appears to be the leading cause. It’s really sad. Nevertheless, he asked the populace politely to send their drugs somewhere else the following time.
We politely ask that people select somewhere else if they are thinking about having their medications transported here, Peters stated. Mercier was accused of aggravated illegal importation of scheduled pharmaceuticals, aggravated trafficking of scheduled drugs, and violating his conditional release while on pre-conviction bail for a separate criminal allegation.
He was being held without bond in the Androscoggin County Jail. “This is an active, ongoing investigation, and we do anticipate that our state and federal partners will be joining this investigation,” said Tim Cougle, deputy chief of Auburn. According to Auburn police, the alleged drug dealer was convicted in 2007 of distributing cocaine and sentenced to seven years in federal prison.