Two Elkhart men arrested in large fentanyl bust

Published: Nov. 7, 2022 at 9:04 AM EST|Updated: Nov. 7, 2022 at 9:05 AM EST
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ELKHART, Ind. (WNDU) - Two men have been arrested following the seizure of about 15,000 pills containing suspected fentanyl.

The suspects, identified as Jerry L. Edwards, 63, and Guadalupe Reyes Jr., 46, both of Elkhart, were arrested in possession of the pills outside a restaurant on Main Street in Elkhart, Indiana.

Jerry L. Edwards mugshot courtesy of the St. Joseph County Police Department.
Jerry L. Edwards mugshot courtesy of the St. Joseph County Police Department.(WNDU)

As part of the investigation, two search warrants were then executed for residences in the 900 block of Grant Street in Elkhart, Indiana. Items seized from one of the residences included suspected fentanyl pills, marijuana, and a firearm.

Guadalupe Reyes Jr. mugshot courtesy of the St. Joseph County Police Department.
Guadalupe Reyes Jr. mugshot courtesy of the St. Joseph County Police Department.(WNDU)

Officials at the Drug Enforcement Agency say that only 2 mg of fentanyl, or about the size of a pen tip, can be lethal.

Twenty million fake pills were seized in the U.S. last year, and around 60% contained fentanyl. Of those that tested positive for fentanyl, 4/10 pills contained a lethal dose.

Over 107,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year, including about 70,000 fatalities directly linked to illicit fentanyl overdoses, and the United States is on par for similar numbers for 2022.

Those are some reasons neighbors tell 16 News Now that they are happy the drugs are off the streets.

“I thought, great, I don’t like that stuff being around,” said Elkhart resident Elijah Pack. “Obviously, I got a kid. There’s a school right up the road. Whoever they sell it might drop one, could be around anybody’s house, or somebody could pick it up not knowing what it is. It’s a terrible thing.”

Another neighbor who declined to give their name said, “I’m surprised it was them, to be honest. They were just happy-go-lucky people having parties on the weekends and being really friendly to their neighbors. Just knowing it’s across the street is kind of uncomfortable.”

Edwards and Reyes were booked into the St. Joseph County Jail to await federal drug charges of Conspiracy To Distribute Fentanyl.

The investigation was conducted by officers of the St. Joseph County Police, Indiana State Police, Elkhart County Intelligence & Covert Enforcement Unit, South Bend Police, Mishawaka Police, United States Postal Inspection Service, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.