Kingpin of national fentanyl ring pleads guilty in Michigan federal court

The kingpin of a nationwide fentanyl distribution ring pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges Thursday after law enforcement officials had originally tracked him down by tracing the UPC code of a Playstation, according to federal prosecutors.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan said that Maurice Montain McCoy, Jr., 41, of Moreno Valley, California, pleaded guilty to charges of drug trafficking and money laundering conspiracy stemming from a July 2017 raid by federal agents on a condo building in Novi, Michigan.

Prosecutors said agents found a stash house after tracing the UPC code of a Playstation box that had previously been used to make a heroine delivery. 

The UPC code led them to an active Playstation in the condo building, where agents found more than 30 kilograms of fentanyl and over half a million dollars.

At the time, the seizure was Michigan’s largest for fentanyl and one of the largest in U.S. history.

“More than 15 million deadly doses of fentanyl were seized from this organization — that is more than enough to kill the entire population of Michigan,” U.S. Attorney Dawn Ison said in a press release. 

Following the seizure, the attorney’s office said that authorities were able to make multiple arrests and additional contraband seizures in Indianapolis and Baltimore after identifying couriers who traveled throughout the U.S. making deliveries. 

Prosecutors said they charged 18 defendants for their roles in the drug ring, 16 of whom pleaded guilty. Two more defendants are scheduled for trial later this month.

McCoy is an ex-con who served 10 years in a California federal prison on a drug conviction. He faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years and could land life in prison.

McCoy is scheduled for sentencing in March.

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