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Man indicted on drug charges

A Suffolk man was indicted by a federal grand jury this week on seven counts of distributing fentanyl.

Eugene Deandre Tillery, 29, faces a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted.

According to the indictment, from Nov. 14, 2015, through Dec. 2, 2015, the Drug Enforcement Administration, with assistance from the Suffolk Police Department, conducted a series of controlled purchases from Tillery, a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office stated.

The agents thought they were purchasing heroin from Tillery, but an analysis of the drugs by a laboratory revealed the drugs were fentanyl, which is a potent painkiller used in the medical profession.

The agents made six purchases from Tillery, ranging from 45 to 100 capsules per purchase.

“Even a small amount of fentanyl can be lethal,” Dana J. Boente, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, stated in the press release.

“There is a disturbing trend across the nation, including here in the Tidewater area, of heroin dealers adding fentanyl to their heroin to increase the potency. As a result, we have seen an alarming increase in overdoses, many of which have resulted in death. Arrests and criminal prosecutions alone will not solve this problem. We must continue to strive for increases in education, treatment and prevention.”

“Drug dealers selling heroin-laced fentanyl or replacing the heroin entirely with fentanyl is an alarming trend and a tremendous threat to public safety,” said Karl C. Colder, Special Agent in Charge of the DEA’s Washington Field Division. “There is no safe amount of fentanyl that can be bought on the street.

“We are seeing fentanyl- and heroin-related overdose deaths in record numbers across Virginia, as people from all walks of life are becoming addicted to these highly dangerous drugs. DEA will continue to work with our law enforcement partners, as exemplified in this investigation, to aggressively pursue those who ruthlessly traffic these drugs.”

“Like most cities across the nation, Suffolk has seen a dramatic increase in the number of heroin and fentanyl overdoses and deaths,” said Suffolk Police Chief Thomas Bennett.

“Addressing this issue has become a priority for our agency, not only from an enforcement perspective but also from an emergency treatment standpoint.”