EVANSVILLE — A joint narcotics investigation reportedly led to the seizure of at least 10,000 fentanyl pills, more than $59,000 in cash and 15 firearms from two Evansville residences Thursday.
The Evansville Police Department implicated Deriontai Mathis, 28, Jasmyn Ramsey, 28, Desmonz Fullilove, 29, and Antonique Crawford, 28, in the alleged fentanyl dealing. All four were preliminarily charged Thursday with narcotics offenses, according to an EPD news release.
Friday afternoon, Vanderburgh County Superior Court Judge Robert Pigman granted a state motion to dismiss Mathis' charges without prejudice, citing a forthcoming federal indictment, court records state. No federal charges had been filed against Mathis as of Friday afternoon.
The arrests come as Tri-State prosecutors and police departments grapple with a continued uptick in drug overdose deaths caused in large part by the potent synthetic opioid fentanyl.
Detectives with the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Drug Task Force accused the four individuals of using two Evansville residences as sites for fentanyl distribution: one at 1930 E. Powell Ave. and the other at 2819 S. Boeke Road.
On Thursday, the task force executed judicially authorized search warrants at both locations, where investigators reportedly seized fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine and firearms.
A probable cause affidavit filed against the four defendants said the counterfeit pills were blue and stamped with an "M 30" marking, the identifier used to denote legitimate oxycodone tablets manufactured by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals.
According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, large-scale drug producers increasingly disguise fentanyl by mixing it into pills designed to mimic prescription painkillers.
Locally, fentanyl pills have caused multiple people who believed they were genuine to overdose.
During Thursday's searches, police also reportedly recovered a "green vest with body armor," multiple handguns with extended magazines and two camouflage bags filled with tens-of-thousands of dollars in cash, the affidavits state.
Fullilove and Crawford are currently being held without bond at the Vanderburgh County jail, according to booking records.
During hearings Friday afternoon, judge Pigman set Ramsey's bond at $150,000 and ordered Mathis to be released on his own recognizance pending the federal indictment.
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This article originally appeared on Evansville Courier & Press: EPD: Thousands of fentanyl pills, 15 guns seized in Evansville Thursday