Brothers get 9 years for role in Delaware's largest-ever fentanyl bust
A U.S. District court has sentenced three brothers up to nine years in prison for selling enough fentanyl to kill hundreds of people.
When law enforcement arrested the three Haye brothers in February of 2016, they called it the largest-ever heroin bust in Delaware. But investigators later learned that kilogram of individually-packaged drugs wasn’t heroin.
“We haven’t had a case in which we’ve discovered as much fentanyl. 48,000 bags of fentanyl. That was extraordinary,” said Acting U.S. Attorney David Weiss.
Fentanyl is 50 times more powerful than heroin and lethal in a 2 milligram dose. For comparison, a mosquito weighs 2.5 milligrams and the brothers had enough fentanyl to kill more than 500 people.
He said this batch of fentanyl was linked two overdoses, and one death.
The attorney’s office couldn’t pursue a stricter sentence than nine years because it couldn’t prove the brothers knew they were selling fentanyl. And it couldn't link their specific batch of fentanyl to the overdose death.
Abdul Haye, 29, and Amyra Haye, 30, both received nine-year sentences. Daniel Haye, 38, got an eight-year sentence.
"The brothers were sophisticated drug distributors. But they had a poor understanding of the deadly substance they were spreading through the community," Weiss said. "And that scares me."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Van Pelt said a multi-agency investigation that involved county, state and federal law enforcement led to the bust.
"Once we found out this ring was linked to multiple overdoses, we didn't have time for high-tech investigation techniques. This relied on good old-fashioned gumshoe investigating," she said.
That involved undercover informants and a lot of police stakeouts.
The brothers were sourcing their fentanyl from a Dominican gang in Philadelphia and using women to transport it down I-95 to an industrial park in Newark.
"From there, they spread it out through the community," Van Pelt said.