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Evansville man indicted for dealing fentanyl through snapchat, resulting in 3 overdoses and 1 death

(WISH Photo)

EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Jeremial Lee Leach, 18, of Evansville, with one count of distribution of fentanyl resulting in death, two counts of distribution of fentanyl, and one count of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl.

Leach is allegedly responsible for dealing fentanyl resulting in at least three overdoses, one of which resulted in death. Leach advertised fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills over Snapchat to hundreds of recipients using the alias “Mel.”

At 12:11 p.m. on June 25, 2022, Evansville Police Department officers responded to a residence on Wedeking Avenue in reference to the overdose of an adult female. The woman was revived with naloxone. At 10:55 a.m. the same day, Evansville police responded to the same residence on Wedeking Avenue for the overdose of another woman, who was dead when police arrived. The coroner located a counterfeit oxycodone pill containing fentanyl on the dead woman. The cause of both overdoses was determined to be fentanyl intoxication.

Investigators searched the deceased victim’s phone and found conversations between her and Jeremial “Mel” Leach in which they discussed the transaction of “blues” pills. Leach gave her his address on Shanklin Avenue.

At 4:15 p.m. on August 20, 2022, Evansville police were dispatched to a restaurant located on Hirschland Road concerning an overdose. When police arrived, they located a woman losing consciousness on the ground in the parking lot of a restaurant. An officer administered naloxone and the woman regained consciousness shortly after. The woman advised police that she had taken 30 milligrams of oxycodone.

At 2:14 p.m. on October 7, 2022, Evansville police responded to a location on SE Riverside Drive after receiving a call regarding a single-vehicle accident. A witness told police that the driver of the vehicle, a minor boy, was in a incoherent state. Police arrived to the scene and administered naloxone. The boy became responsive and admitted that he took two Percocet 7.5 milligram pills he had purchased from “Mel” via Snapchat 45 minutes before the vehicle crash. He speculated that the pills may have been pressed fentanyl pills, rather than actual Percocet.

On October 11, 2022, investigators observed Leach conduct two apparent drug deals at his residence. The buyers, both underage boys, left separately in a Kia Optima and a gold Hyundai Tucson. Shortly thereafter, law enforcement stopped both vehicles after observing traffic violations.

During the stop of the vehicles, investigators located three blue pills marked “M30” inside the Kia and six blue pill marked “M30” inside the Tucson. One of the boys stated his dealer’s name was “Mel.”

Later that day, police executed a search warrant on Leach’s residence on Shanklin Avenue and seized 33 blue pills marked “30,” a digital scale, two 9mm pistols, and $1,843 in cash.

The pills seized during the two traffic stops and from Leach’s residence were submitted for laboratory analysis and tested positive for the presence of fentanyl.

If convicted on all counts, Leach faces up to life in federal prison.