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Agents make what's likely the biggest fentanyl bust in Toledo area, with about 21 pounds seized

Robert Escobar, 49, of Toledo, is accused of multiple drug sales to a confidential DEA source over 7 months.

TOLEDO, Ohio — A Toledo man was charged in federal court after law enforcement officials seized nearly 10 kilograms, or about 21 pounds, of what is believed to be fentanyl.

Robert Escobar, 49, was charged in federal court with one count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.

The Department of Justice said there was enough fentanyl to "provide lethal doses to 3.3 million people." A lethal dose is about 3 mg.

Amounts as such usually come through Mexico cartels. This has not been confirmed in this case, but they are investigating it as a possibility

The US Attorney’s office is also concerned because the Fentanyl was packaged as if it was heroin, even using street names that people would be familiar with.  

According to an affidavit filed in federal court, DEA agents used a confidential source to make numerous drug purchases from Escobar between March and October 2019. The drugs were tested and found to be mixtures of heroin and/or fentanyl.

During a buy from Escobar’s residence on Westmonte Road in Toledo in October, Escobar stated he has two different kinds of heroin: “XXX” and “Maserati”. Escobar then traveled to a house on North Michigan Street and returned with drugs, that he sold, court documents state. The drugs were tested and returned results for fentanyl and a fentanyl analogue.

A search warrant was executed on the house on North Michigan Street on Tuesday. Agents found 10 packages in the attic area that weighed approximately 9.615 kilograms. Three of the packages were marked “Maserati” while other packages were marked “XXX”. The contents of the packages will be tested, according to the complaint.

“This is believed to be the largest seizure of fentanyl in the Toledo area,” U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman said. “This defendant is accused of branding deadly narcotics with names like ‘XXX’ and ‘Maserati.’ The idea that more than 20 pounds of this deadly substance was being sold in a residential neighborhood is both infuriating and terrifying. I applaud the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Perrysburg Township Police Department, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Wauseon Police Department, Sylvania Police Department, BCI, Sandusky Police, CBP and Toledo Police Department for this action – they have undoubtedly saved many lives today.”

“Our communities have been plagued by fentanyl-related overdose deaths for far too long and bringing charges against a major distributor like this will save lives,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Keith Martin. “We will continue to work with our local law enforcement partners to get drug dealers out of our communities and brought to justice.”

The DEA Toledo Task Force investigated the case. The Task Force includes representatives of the DEA, Perrysburg Township Police, Ohio State Highway Patrol, Wauseon Police Department, Sylvania Police Department, Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and the Sandusky Police Department and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The Toledo Police Department SWAT team also assisted. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ashley A. Futrell and Alissa M. Sterling.

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