Department of Justice

Fifth Person Arrested in DOJ, DEA Probe Into Carrollton Fentanyl Overdoses

Carrollton Police say they are committed to continuing fentanyl investigations into "those who put the lives of our children in danger"

DEA

A Flower Mound man is facing a drug charge after federal investigators say he supplied drugs containing fentanyl to a juvenile who overdosed, officials with the Department of Justice said Friday.

Officials said 18-year-old Stephen Paul Brinson was arrested Wednesday and has been charged with conspiracy to distribute a schedule II controlled substance.

According to federal investigators, Brinson supplied Donovan Jude Andrews, of Carrollton, with drugs.

Andrews was arrested last week after being accused of using social media to sell pills containing fentanyl. Investigators said Andrews capitalized on the recent arrests of Luis Navarrete and Magalo Cano and was tied to at least one juvenile overdose. In arrest documents, investigators detailed how a 14-year-old girl who survived an overdose told investigators Andrews sold her the drugs and left them in her mailbox.

Navarette and Cano, along with their supplier, Jason Villanueva, are allegedly tied to 10 other juvenile overdoses, including three fatalities.

“In just four weeks, we have charged five adults accused of trafficking deadly fentanyl to children,” said U.S. Attorney Leigha Simonton. “In the meantime, we urge the community to remind our young people: Any pill not prescribed by a doctor could be lethal. One pill can kill.”

The DOJ said they identified Brinson after arresting Andrews and his juvenile driver, who allegedly chauffeured Andrews around in exchange for drugs. In the driver's phone, investigators found messages identifying an Instagram user as the source for the fentanyl pills. That Instagram user, agents said, was identified as Brinson.

DEA, Carrollton Police
Stephen Brinson, inset.

During a search of Brinson's Flower Mound home officers found his 19-year-old girlfriend allegedly under the influence of fentanyl.

"She told officers that there were crushed-up fentanyl pills near the nightstand in the room that she and Mr. Brinson shared and advised that Brinson had two safes in the bedroom. Inside one of the safes, Carrollton police officers found multiple bags containing more than 1,000 blue counterfeit M/30 pills that field tested positive for fentanyl," the DOJ said in a statement Friday.

Agents also reported finding tools used for drug distribution, including a digital scale with drug residue, small baggies and cash. The DOJ said they found a note from Brinson’s parents warning him, “don’t meet people in front of the house or in view of the house.”

The DOJ said Brinson's father admitted he and his wife knew he used fentanyl but claimed they didn't know he was dealing pills in front of the home.

No charges against Brinson's parents have been announced.

“Taking this dealer out of the network puts a significant dent in the dealers’ ability to sell drugs to all DFW-area children. We remain committed to arresting those who put the lives of our children in danger,” said Carrollton Police Chief Roberto Arredondo.

Federal investigators said Brinson was also observed loading a large bag into his Lexus and driving to a parking lot where informants claimed he often conducted drug transactions.

"Inside the car, officers found an FN 5.7 pistol, commonly referred to a 'cop killer,' and an AR-15 platform rifle; inside Brinson’s sock, they found a small baggy containing an M/30 pill," officials said.

After his arrest, Brinson was taken to the Carrollton jail where police said he began kicking his cell and shouting. According to police, Brinson told agents and officers that he was "minding his own [expletive] business" and that being white and living in Flower Mound would help his case.

If convicted, Brinson faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

WHAT IS FENTANYL?

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. Just two milligrams of fentanyl, which is equal to 10-15 grains of table salt, is considered a lethal dose.

Without laboratory testing, there is no way to know how much fentanyl is concentrated in a pill or powder. If you encounter fentanyl in any form, do not handle it and call 911 immediately.

Fentanyl remains the deadliest drug threat facing this country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 107,622 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2021, with 66% of those deaths related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl.

Drug poisonings are the leading killer of Americans between the ages of 18 and 45. Fentanyl available in the United States is primarily supplied by two criminal drug networks, the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG).

WHAT IS RAINBOW FENTANYL?

In August 2022 the Drug Enforcement Administration issued a public advisory about the alarming emerging trend of colorful fentanyl available nationwide.

Brightly-colored fentanyl, dubbed "rainbow fentanyl" in the media, is being seized in multiple forms, including pills, powder, and blocks that resemble sidewalk chalk.

“Rainbow fentanyl—fentanyl pills and powder that come in a variety of bright colors, shapes, and sizes—is a deliberate effort by drug traffickers to drive addiction amongst kids and young adults,” said DEA Administrator Anne Milgram. “The men and women of the DEA are relentlessly working to stop the trafficking of rainbow fentanyl and defeat the Mexican drug cartels that are responsible for the vast majority of the fentanyl that is being trafficked in the United States.”

Despite claims that certain colors may be more potent than others, there is no indication through DEA’s laboratory testing that this is the case. The DEA said every color, shape, and size of fentanyl should be considered extremely dangerous.

Officials from the Drug Enforcement Administration are warning of fentanyl appearing in bright colors, sometimes resembling sidewalk chalk or candy.
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