STOCKTON (CBS13) — A massive federal crackdown on a Stockton-based counterfeit pharmaceutical drug trafficking organization included law enforcement wearing Hazmat protective suits descending on a Weston Ranch neighborhood home.
The home is located on a quiet residential street. Great Valley Elementary School is located at the end of the block.
Federal agents describe the home as a stash house for counterfeit pharmaceuticals and say it served as one of several drug labs with a pill press that could produce 5,400 pills an hour.
Among the alleged counterfeit pharmaceuticals manufactured were Hydrocodone and Xanax pills containing Fentanyl, purchased in China through websites.
The DEA also raided a Stockton music studio before posting a red warning sign on the door reading, “hazardous materials could remain inside.” Agents allege the studio doubled as a distribution center for the drug-making operation. It’s located one floor above Candison’s Confections candy store.
“As far as I knew, it was a music studio and they patronize my business on the regular,” candy store owner Shukriyyah Albaaqee said.
Included in the 100-page complaint filed in the case, agents connected this alleged drug ring with dozens of fentanyl overdoses in the Sacramento area in 2016.
According to the complaint, two suspects named in the case told a confidential source one batch of “…the pills were bad and some people had died in Sacramento from ingesting them.”
The source also allegedly overheard an exchange that one of the suspects “had ‘put the wrong (expletive) in,’ in reference to the bad pills.”
In total eight suspects were arrested in Stockton Thursday. Their cases are set to be heard in Sacramento federal court.