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Press Release

Evansville Man Indicted for Allegedly Dealing Fentanyl Using Snapchat Resulting in at Least Three Overdoses, Including One Death

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Indiana

EVANSVILLE- A federal grand jury has returned an indictment charging Jeremial Lee Leach, 19, of Evansville, Indiana 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.

As alleged in the complaint and indictment, Leach is 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.”

On June 25, 2022, at approximately 12:11 a.m., officers with the Evansville Police Department (EPD) responded to a residence on Wedeking Avenue in reference to the overdose of an adult female. The woman was revived with naloxone. Later the same day, at approximately 10:55 a.m., EPD officers responded to the same residence on Wedeking Avenue for the overdose of another woman, who subsequently died. The coroner located a counterfeit oxycodone pill containing fentanyl on the deceased woman’s person. 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.

On August 20, 2022, at approximately 4:15 p.m., EPD officers were dispatched to a restaurant located on Hirschland Road concerning an overdose. Upon arrival, the officers located a woman sitting on the ground in the parking lot of the restaurant, not alert and beginning to lose consciousness. An officer administered naloxone and, a short time later, the woman began to regain consciousness. The woman advised EFD that she had taken 30 mg of oxycodone.

On August 22, 2022, the third victim told investigators that on the day of her overdose, she purchased four Percocet 30’s from 1614 Shanklin Avenue and overdosed because they contained fentanyl. She identified her supplier as “Mel,” Jeremial Leach.

On October 7, 2022, at approximately 2:14 p.m., EPD officers responded to a location on SE Riverside Drive after receiving a call regarding a single vehicle accident. The witness advised that the driver of the vehicle, a minor boy, was no longer coherent. EFD personnel arrived on scene and attempted to wake the driver with a sternum rub. After that failed, they administered naloxone. The boy became responsive and admitted to medical personnel that he took two Percocet 7.5mg pills that he had purchased from “Mel” via Snapchat approximately forty-five 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 with the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Drug Task Force 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 pills marked “M30” inside the Tucson. One of the boys in the buyer’s car later stated that his dealer’s name was “Mel.”

Later that day, officers executed a search warrant at Leach’s residence on Shanklin Avenue. Leach exited the front door of the home and was taken into custody by detectives. Some of the items located and seized during the search included 33 blue pills marked “30,” a digital scale, two 9mm pistols, and approximately $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. 

DEA, Evansville Police Department, and the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Drug Task Force investigated this case. If convicted on all counts, Leach faces up to life in federal prison. A federal district court judge will determine the actual sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant United States Attorney Kristian Mukoski, who is prosecuting this case.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, as little as two milligrams of fentanyl can be fatal, depending on a person’s body size, tolerance, and past usage. One kilogram of fentanyl has the potential to kill 500,000 people. 6 out of 10 illegal fentanyl tablets sold on U.S. streets now contain a potentially lethal dose of the drug.

One Pill Can Kill: Avoid pills bought on the street because One Pill Can Kill. Fentanyl is a highly potent opioid that drug dealers dilute with cutting agents to make counterfeit prescription pills that appear to be Oxycodone, Percocet, Xanax, and other drugs.  Fentanyl is used because it’s cheap.  Small variations in the quantity or quality of fentanyl in a fake prescription pill can accidentally create a lethal dosage.  Fentanyl has now become the leading cause of drug poisoning deaths in the United States.  Fake prescription pills laced with fentanyl are usually shaped and colored to look like pills sold at pharmacies, like Percocet and Xanax.  For example, fake prescription pills known as “M30s” imitate Oxycodone obtained from a pharmacy, but when sold on the street the pills routinely contain fentanyl. These particular pills are usually round tablets and often light blue in color, though they may be in different shapes and a rainbow of colors.  They often have “M” and “30” imprinted on opposite sides of the pill.  Do not take these or any other pills bought on the street – they are routinely fake and poisonous, and you won’t know until it’s too late. 

An indictment or criminal complaint are merely allegations, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.



Updated May 19, 2023

Drug Trafficking