GREEN BAY, Wis. (WFRV) – A pair of brothers from Green Bay have been convicted by a federal jury for allegedly trafficking, and buying thousands of counterfeit Percocet pills containing fentanyl.
The announcement was made by the Wisconsin Department of Justice (DOJ) that on February 16, Don A.K. James, Jr., 24, and Frederick L. Brewer, 34, were convicted of Conspiracy to Distribute Fentanyl, Possessing Fentanyl With Intent to Distribute, and Distributing Fentanyl.
According to a release, the evidence presented at the trial showed that Brewer sold fentanyl pills to an informant working with the Brown County Drug Task Force in January and February 2022.
After Brewer’s arrest, it was discovered that James, Brewer’s brother, allegedly negotiated with an Arizona-based source to buy thousands of pills. Authorities say that the pills containing fentanyl were illicitly manufactured to resemble Percocet.
James flew to Arizona in January 2022 to buy at least 15,000 pills, the release states. While in Arizona, James reportedly sent a video to a ‘large-scale buyer’ in the Green Bay area, showing that James had at least 19,000 pills to distribute.
After returning to Wisconsin, James allegedly told the buyer that he now had 30,000 fentanyl pills and was “ready to do business.”
When James was arrested, he reportedly attempted to swallow a bag of 58 fentanyl pills. DTF investigators subsequently administered Narcan to protect James against a potential overdose and forced James to spit out the bag.
James was then transported to a hospital for medical clearance and later posted bail, only to be re-arrested in June 2022 when he was reportedly found with over 750 fentanyl pills in his possession.
The two brothers worked together, authorities say, in their ‘fentanyl-trafficking operation.’ Both men will be sentenced in May.
The fact that traffickers like those convicted by the jury in this case are willing to increase the risk of overdoses by disguising this deadly substance as something less lethal is particularly disturbing. We are committed to working with all of our federal, state, local, and tribal partners to hold drug traffickers accountable for their actions.U.S. Attorney Gregory Haanstad
James faces at least ten years in prison and a maximum of life in prison, and Brewer faces up to 30 years in prison.
This case was investigated by the Brown County Drug Task Force and the Drug Enforcement Administration.