Major drug busts in Tuscaloosa result in big fentanyl seizure


A whole bunch of illegal drugs are off the streets of Tuscaloosa after a pair of major busts Monday by the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force.

The women arrested are facing 10 and 11 felony drug charges, respectively.

WANTF Capt. Brad Jones said 41-year-old Celeste McIntyre is facing 10 felony charges: trafficking methamphetamine, trafficking fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute heroin, first-degree possession of marijuana, two counts of possession of a controlled substance and four counts of failure to affix a tax stamp.

During the search of McIntyre’s home, investigators found:

  • 9 ounces of methamphetamine
  • 25 grams of fentanyl
  • 4 grams of heroin
  • 2 grams of cocaine
  • 2 grams of MDMA
  • 1.5 pounds of marijuana

“That’s a large amount of fentanyl,” Jones said. “That was kind of shocking to see, somebody with that much by themselves.”

The amount spurred the task force into action, Jones said, and they’re warning residents that fentanyl is deadly stuff.

“Over the last few years, we’ve seen a big increase in fentanyl in the area,” Jones said. “It’s not uncommon, and meth has made a big push, too.”

Powdered fentanyl is often mixed into substances like methamphetamine or heroin, or mixed and pressed into counterfeit prescription pills.

A minuscule amount can be deadly, Jones said, because fentanyl is 100 times stronger than morphine and 50 times stronger than heroin.

A lot of the methamphetamine investigators see these days isn’t the same meth that was on the streets years ago, Jones said.

“A lot of it is coming from the border, and we’ve seen a big increase from that,” he said. “Meth is not made locally anymore. It comes straight from Mexico. That dirty meth you used to see that would come from the meth labs blowing up and stuff, you don’t see that anymore.”

Another woman, 43-year-old Victoria Lashun Yelder, is charged with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, trafficking morphine, trafficking Oxycodone, two counts of possession of a controlled substance, first-degree marijuana possession and five counts of failure to affix a tax stamp.

In Yelder’s case, investigators found:

  • 1 pound of marijuana
  • 2 pounds of edibles suspected to contain THC
  • 3 grams of cocaine
  • 275 MDMA pills
  • 50 Xanax pills
  • 40 Oxycodone pills
  • 25 morphine pills
  • $700 in cash
  • digital scales

While the bags of chips visible in photos of the drugs taken by investigators may look like supermarket staples including Cheetos and Doritos, they’re laced with marijuana.

“These are edibles that they are usually getting from dispensaries out West or in some of the states where it’s legalized,” Jones said. “They usually have a marijuana leaf on them that indicates that they are edibles, and most of them will have the THC content on them also.”

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