Drugs tied to international conspiracy caused 2017 deaths of Kings Bay petty officers, DOJ says

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The News4JAX I-TEAM has realized new details about the investigation into the drug overdose deaths of 2 Naval Submarine Base Kings Bay officials again in 2017.

Investigators mentioned Brian Jarrell, 25, and Ty Bell 26, died in the similar Kingsland, Georgia, house from a fentanyl overdose.

According to a federal indictment, Thomas Federuik, 59, of Canada, and Paul Nicholls, 44, of England, mailed opioids containing lines of fentanyl from Canada to an deal with in Kingsland. Investigators say intake of the contaminated opioids resulted in the overdose deaths Jarrell and Bell, who have been each petty officials.

Specifically, Federuik and Nicholls have been indicted on federal fees alleging a world operation used the darkish internet to distribute unlawful medication within the United States, with a few of the ones medication ensuing within the deaths of the 2 U.S. Navy petty officials, consistent with the Department of Justice.


The Jacksonville Drug Enforcement Administration place of business used to be now not a part of this world investigation, however Assistant Special Agent In Charge Mike Dubet says the trafficking of destructive narcotics by the use of mail from different nations occurs extra frequently than many of us would possibly suppose.

“There are so many items moving through our postal system, so it becomes a challenge to identify what package has something of contraband versus something that is legitimate,” Dubet mentioned.

According to the indictment, the 2 suspects acquired the medication from China and Hungary after which used reliable companies to import the medication into Canada, after which they’d promote the medication at the darkish internet.

If that sounds acquainted — 3 years in the past, I used to be granted unique get admission to to the DEA’s cyber unit, which works after drug sellers at the darkish internet.

PREVIOUS STORY: DEA takes I-TEAM inside of its operation to prevent unlawful gross sales at the ‘Dark Web’


“Opioids are a big thing, but we have a lot of synthetics coming out of China. We have fentanyl, we have marijuana, MDA, all the same drugs you see on the streets you will see on the dark web,” an secret agent defined to me prior to now.

While the indictment doesn’t particularly say how the 2 males are related to the deaths of the 2 sailors, my earlier interview with an secret agent sheds gentle on how investigators can hyperlink overdose deaths to attainable suspects.

“We’re able to get their client list, shipping addresses and names they sold drugs to over the internet, and we were able to compare that to obituary listings. One vender can be responsible for 20 to 40 overdose deaths,” an agent defined to me prior to now.

DEA administrator Anne Milgram not too long ago held a information convention addressing the risks of buying medication on-line.

“Never take medicine that wasn’t prescribed personally to you and filled by a licensed pharmacist,” Milgram mentioned. “Spread the word that one pill can kill.”


The suspects within the Kings Bay case are anticipated to be extradited to the U.S., the place they are going to pass prior to a federal pass judgement on in Brunswick.

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