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PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced that DeWitt Drayton, 46, of Philadelphia, PA, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and five years of supervised release by United States Senior District Court Judge Anita B. Brody for manufacturing counterfeit pills using controlled substances, including methamphetamine, and for unlawfully possessing three firearms.
In March 2022, the defendant pleaded guilty to the charges of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, and two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon. The defendant was charged with these offenses after federal investigators executed a search warrant at his home and uncovered what can be described only as a drug lab. This included multiple pill press machines and other supplies, which the defendant had been using to manufacture counterfeit prescription painkillers using a variety of narcotics, including fentanyl and the horse tranquilizer Xylazine, as well as methamphetamine-laced ecstasy pills. Investigators recovered thousands of pills, which the defendant had manufactured, and which were destined for sale on the streets of Philadelphia. The discovery of these items was not surprising, as federal authorities had been tracking the defendant’s purchases of pill-making supplies from China and elsewhere.
Agents also executed a search warrant at a property in New Jersey used by the defendant, and between the two properties, they recovered three firearms, two of which had obliterated serial numbers, and all of which the defendant was prohibited from possessing given his criminal history.
“Drug distribution and gun violence are an epidemic in Philadelphia and the federal government is aggressively prosecuting both in order to get dangerous, repeat offenders like this defendant off the streets,” said U.S. Attorney Romero. “DeWitt Drayton was a large-scale drug manufacturer and illegally possessed multiple firearms to protect his business, which are both offenses that put our community and the people who live here at risk. We want to thank our law enforcement partners in this case, the DEA and HSI, for their hard work and dedication.”
“Drayton was responsible for manufacturing and distributing fake opioid pills containing illicit fentanyl and fake stimulant pills containing methamphetamine out of a house in the heart of the Kensington section of Philadelphia,” said Thomas Hodnett, Special Agent in Charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s (DEA) Philadelphia Field Division. “The current overdose crisis is largely driven by criminals like Drayton who flooded our streets with fentanyl-laced fake pills. Learn more about the dangers of fake pills through our One Pill Can Kill public awareness campaign, which can be accessed at www.dea.gov/onepill.”
“This sentencing demonstrates how Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Philadelphia Cyber Crime Investigations Task Force (C2iTF) working hand in hand with partners from the Drug Enforcement Administration, Philadelphia Police Department, Customs and Border Protection and the Pennsylvania State Police actively seeks to hold accountable criminals whose actions harm Americans,” said William S. Walker, Special Agent in Charge for the HSI Philadelphia Field Office. “Methamphetamine and illicit firearms are significant contributors to public safety concerns, and we will continue to dismantle criminal organizations which prey upon our communities.”
The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the Drug Enforcement Administration, Customs and Border Protection, the Pennsylvania State Police and the Philadelphia Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Timothy M. Stengel.
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY’S OFFICE
EASTERN DISTRICT OF PENNSYLVANIA
615 Chestnut Street, Suite 1250
Philadelphia, PA 19106
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