Investigation leads to 4 arrests, seizure of 18 kilos of drugs

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A federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment last week charging three Dover residents and one Middletown resident with operating a large-scale trafficking operation that sold cocaine, methamphetamine and fentanyl.

The amount of fentanyl seized from this organization represents the largest known fentanyl seizure in Delaware history, according to a release from the office of the U.S. District Attorney for Delaware.

According to the indictment, Dwayne Fountain, 51, William Warren, 47, Martin Fountain, 47, and Durell Patton, 44, conspired to distribute drugs from January through May.

For Fountain, the conspiracy involved more than five kilograms of cocaine, more than 400 grams of fentanyl, and more than 500 grams of methamphetamine. 

The indictment also alleges that the four defendants possessed various drugs with intent to distribute.  Finally, the superseding indictment charges Dwayne Fountain and Durell Patton with possessing guns on May 17, despite criminal convictions which prohibit them from doing so.

According to documents filed in court, this case resulted from a long-term investigation spearheaded by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Delaware State Police, and the Dover Police Department. 

Search warrants executed in the case led to the seizure of over 7.5 kilograms of fentanyl, 10 kilograms of powder cocaine, over a kilogram of crack cocaine, about 280 grams of methamphetamine, and 300 grams of xylazine, commonly referred to as “tranq,” an additive commonly mixed with fentanyl.

 “The threat to public health and safety found in these cases is something that requires policing organizations to share information and resources, in order to protect the vulnerable,” said Dover Police Chief Thomas A. Johnson, Jr.  “It bears repeating that the amount of illicit drugs seized in this operation was enough to potentially kill close to 400,000 people, or, stated another way, roughly 4 in 10 Delawareans.  It was great to be a part of such an effective collaboration between local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.”

If convicted, Fountain faces a mandatory minimum of ten years and a maximum of life in prison.  Warren faces a mandatory minimum of five years and a maximum of 40 years in prison.  Fountain and Patton face a maximum of 20 years in prison.

The Dover case was the second involving a large-scale operation in recent months Earlier, the discovery of a drug distribution and manufacturing operation in the Rosegate community near Wilmington, led to charges.