Man arrested after $3M worth of drugs shipped to restaurant

AUBURN, Maine (AP) — Workers of a Maine restaurant acquired a shock when they opened a massive wood crate that they thought was a cargo of mugs they had not long ago ordered.

As an alternative, they identified a plastic tote that contained what law enforcement suspect is 14 kilograms (31 pounds) of the powerful synthetic opioid fentanyl with an believed avenue worth of $3 million, Auburn law enforcement Deputy Chief Timothy Cougle reported in a statement Saturday.

The tote had a transport label with the restaurant’s address but the title of anyone who did not work there. Workers who opened it noticed what they imagined looked like drugs, so they contacted law enforcement, Cougle explained.

The crate from Arizona that arrived in the Maine city about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Portland was taken to the police office, exactly where a chemical discipline assessment verified it contained fentanyl.

About an hour later on, the male whose title was on the cargo confirmed up on the lookout for the crate and was arrested, law enforcement reported.

Jeremy Mercier, 41, of Auburn, was billed with drug offenses and for violating bail ailments. He is becoming held in a county jail without bail. It could not be decided if he experienced an attorney.

Mercier beforehand invested time guiding bars on a 2007 federal drug conviction, Cougle stated.

The investigation is ongoing, and Cougle said he anticipates point out and federal law enforcement acquiring involved.

Mike Peters, the co-proprietor of Mac’s Grill, told WMTW-Television in an email that he is happy the medicines did not make it to the streets.

“The cases of overdose in our, and bordering, communities is terrible, and fentanyl seems to be front and center when it arrives to fatalities,” he stated. “It is really sad.”