Sixteenth member of deadly Elmira drug ring sentenced


The sixteenth and final member of a deadly Elmira drug ring has been sentenced to more than 11 years in prison.

Terrance Washington, 32, of Elmira, NY, was convicted of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute, and to distribute, 100 grams or more of a fentanyl analogue, and witness retaliation.

Washington was a distributor in a large-scale opioid manufacturing and trafficking organization in the Southern Tier of New York and northern Pennsylvania between 2015 and May 2017.

As part of the conspiracy, the leaders of the organization, Robert Ian Thatcher and Maximillian Sams, imported bulk quantities of furanyl fentanyl, acetyl fentantyl, and U-47700 from overseas suppliers China. They ordered the drugs on what is known as “the dark web,” and used different people and addresses in New York and Pennsylvania to receive the shipments.

Thatcher and Sams purchased equipment and materials – including pill presses/mechanical tableting machines, microcrystalline cellulose, lactose magnesium stearate, and powdered food coloring – which they used to manufacture tens of thousands blue pills containing furanyl fentanyl, acetyl fentanyl and U-47700. The pills were made to look like legitimate 15 milligram and 30 milligram Percocet pills.

At least two individuals – a 21 year-old female, and a 25 year-old male – died after ingesting the blue pills containing furanyl fentanyl and U-47700. In addition, at least one individual overdosed on more than one occasion after using the blue pills manufactured and distributed by the organization, but survived after being treated by first responders with Narcan.

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