A 41-year-old man was arrested Friday and $3,000,000 worth of fentanyl was seized in Auburn after a large wooden crate containing the drugs was shipped to a local restaurant.

$3,000,000 Worth of Fentanyl Shipped to Restaurant

Officials said employees at the restaurant “believed the crate to contain a shipment of mugs they had recently ordered. When employees opened the crate, they located a plastic tote, which contained what the employees believed was a significant quantity of illegal drugs.” The package was shipped from Arizona with the “Jeremy Mercier” on the label. Mercier did not work at the restaurant. The staff called the police.

Auburn Police
Auburn Police

Field Test Confirmation

Officers secured the container and took it to the Auburn Police station where it was field tested and confirmed to be fentanyl.

Suspect Arrested at Restaurant

When Mercier arrived at the business later on Friday, he was taken to the Androscoggin County Jail. 

Kilos of Fentanyl Seized

In all, police confiscated 14 kilos of fentanyl, worth $3,000,000 on the street, and $2,780 in suspected drug proceeds.

Auburn Police
Auburn Police

Charges and Previous Charge

Mercier was charged with Aggravated Illegal Importation, Aggravated Trafficking and Violation of Conditional Release. He is being held without bail.

Police said Mercier was out on a previous Federal conviction for the distribution of cocaine.” He was convicted on August 13, 2007 and “served several years in Federal prison.”

State and Federal Law Enforcement

Auburn Deputy Chief Tim Cougle said, “this is an active, ongoing investigation and we do anticipate that our state and federal partners will be joining this investigation.”

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