An 18-year-old man has pleaded guilty to federal drug charges after admitting to dealing fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills from his home in Flower Mound.
He pleaded guilty on Tuesday to conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a Schedule II controlled substance, according to a Department of Justice press release. He faces up to 40 years in federal prison, pending sentencing.
When police arrested Stephen Paul Brinson in March, they found over 1,800 counterfeit blue M/30 imprinted pills, designed to resemble Oxycontin, in his home. The pills field-tested positive for fentanyl, according to law enforcement. Police also found cocaine, marijuana, and two firearms in the house.
Brinson was allegedly the supplier for a dealer who had sold fentanyl-laced pills to a Carrollton teen who subsequently overdosed on the drug.
According to prosecutors, Brinson facilitated his counterfeit pills scheme on Instagram.
After a string of overdoses in the Carrollton-Farmers Branch Independent School District, school officials and Drug Enforcement Agency representatives held a community town hall meeting with concerned parents in April, warning that social media is a dangerous platform if left unmonitored. They cautioned that fentanyl dealers often use social media to market their illicit goods directly to underage children.
“The typical process is, [students] are getting the drugs on social media. I recommend to parents of students, or parents in general, … that they don’t allow their kids to have these social media sites. If you do, monitor it closely because you can get anything on there,” School Resource Officer Joel Carlos told parents.
Although Brinson and another drug dealer have pleaded guilty to the charges against them, six other alleged dealers are awaiting trial in connection with the fentanyl bust in Carrollton and Flower Mound earlier this year.
Illegal narcotics continue to plague the DFW area and the city of Dallas in particular.
According to the Dallas Police Department’s crime analytics dashboard, Dallas has suffered a 9.63% increase in drug and narcotics violations year-to-date as of May 1. No reliable data is available for the month of May, allegedly due to a ransomware attack that crippled key Dallas services.
Meanwhile, a shortage in the number of Dallas police officers is impeding the force’s ability to address crime. The City currently employs roughly 3,100 officers, but DPD Chief Eddie Garcia suggested in a recent interview with The Dallas Express that the department would require hundreds more officers to meet the city’s public safety needs.