Indictment accuses Youngstown men of importing powerful opiate - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Indictment accuses Youngstown men of importing powerful opiate

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Michael Lawrence (L) Danion Jones (R) Michael Lawrence (L) Danion Jones (R)
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

A Federal Grand Jury has indicted two Valley men accused of receiving a package from China containing a derivative of the powerful opiate fentanyl.

Authorities say there was enough of the drug to kill hundreds of people.

Michael B. Lawrence, 43, of Youngstown, and Dainon L. Jones, 37, of Girard, have been indicted on charges of possession with intent to distribute, and conspiracy to distribute Phenylfentanyl.

Investigators say the two ordered the drug through the mail.

In November government agents intercepted a package from China containing 273 grams of powder containing Phenylfentanyl. The package was labeled “pants zipper”.

After removing the fentanyl and inserting a radio tracking device in the package, an undercover agent posing as a delivery man took the package to a home on the 700 block of East Judson Avenue.

Jones arrived at the address approximately two minutes later in a silver Mercedes, picked up the package and drove away with it, according to investigators.

Jones drove to 3311 Idlewood in Youngstown, where he picked up Lawrence.

They drove to a nearby gas station, where Lawrence got out of the Mercedes with the package.

He took a bus to downtown Youngstown, where Jones again picked him up in his Mercedes.

They then drove together to 57 East Wilson in Girard and went inside, according to court documents.

Both Jones and Lawrence took off running as law enforcement approached the home in Girard.

Both eventually were arrested and booked into the Mahoning County jail.

"The amount of fentanyl these defendants are accused of bringing to downtown Youngstown from China could have killed hundreds of people," said U.S. Attorney Justin E. Herdman.  

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