Forty-five people have been indicted for an alleged multistate opioid ring involving one of the most powerful and addictive artificial painkillers, according to the Justice Department.
"The quantities of fentanyl that were allegedly trafficked in this case are shocking," Attorney General Jeff Sessions said Wednesday. "We will prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law and continue to take dangerous drugs and drug dealers off our streets so that every American can be safe in their community."
The arrests earlier this month in Maine, Massachusetts and New Hampshire came after a yearlong federal investigation into what authorities call an extensive and organized conspiracy.
The suspects were allegedly part of a vast network of dispatchers and distributors serving customers with the opioid fentanyl.
Agents seized weapons and more than $500,000 cash along with more than 30 kilograms of the drug.
Most of the defendants face life in prison and fines as much as $10 million if convicted.