A family of five is facing multiple federal narcotics charges for allegedly running a heroin and fentanyl distribution ring linked to several fatal overdoses.
The 15-count indictment accuses twin brothers Brad Reed and Greg Reed, 26, cousins Richard Ruby, 31, and Justin McBride, 26, and McBrides wife, Antoinette, 29, of trafficking and dealing heroin, fentanyl, cocaine and crack cocaine between January 2014 and December 2017 throughout Allegheny County in Pennsylvania, Department of Justice officials announced Friday, according to CBS Pittsburgh.
The five defendants allegedly used two homes in Hazelwood and one residence in Munhall — neighborhoods in Allegheny County — for manufacturing fentanyl and packaging the drugs for distribution.
“This indictment charges these five individuals for their roles in a criminal heroin/fentanyl trafficking organization that is responsible for causing two overdose deaths and four non-fatal overdoses in which the victims needed to be revived with naloxone,” U.S. Attorney Scott Brady said in a statement.
Justin McBride, Brad Reed, and Greg Reed all face 20 years to life in prison for their role in the trafficking operation, while Antoinette McBride and Richard Ruby face five to 40 years behind bars.
Overdoses are currently battering Pennsylvania — 4,884 lives were claimed in 2016. The increase was primarily opioid-driven, which were implicated in more than 3,900 overdose deaths across the state in 2016. Pennsylvania officials predict drug overdose deaths will top 5,000 when final figures for 2017 are released.
Fentanyl overtook heroin as the U.S.s deadliest substance in 2016, claiming 19,413 lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death for Americans under age 50, killing more than 64,000 people in 2016.
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