Fentanyl Dealer on Snapchat Who Caused Deadly Overdoses Gets 20 Years in Federal Prison

“Dirty 30” pills were sold on Snapchat, and it led to numerous deadly overdoses, sometimes within the same home.

A man who used Snapchat to sell fake oxycodone pills that actually contained fentanyl—leading to the death of a teenage girl as well as several other overdoses—faces 20 years in prison.

Jeremial Lee Leach, 20, of Evansville, Indiana, has been sentenced to 20 years in federal prison, followed by five years of supervised release, after pleading guilty to one count of Distribution of Fentanyl Resulting in Death, one count of distribution of fentanyl, and one count of distribution of fentanyl resulting in serious bodily injury.

Michael Gannon, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration-Indianapolis, and U.S. Attorney Zachary A. Myers for the Southern District of Indiana released an announcement on May 17 describing the ordeal and the consequences.

Leach sold fentanyl on Snapchat as “Mel,” resulting in at least three overdoses, one of which resulted in the death of a 19-year-old woman. “Mel” sold small blue pills marked with M 30 which is supposed to indicate they contain oxycodone hydrochloride—i.e. sold as Oxycontin, Reltebon, Zomestine, etc. Researchers call fake M 30 pills as “Dirty 30s,” and they’re highly dangerous—the slightest miscalculation of fentanyl can easily stop breathing.

“This young woman should be alive today. Mr. Leach pushed deadly poison over social media, ending a teenager’s life far too early, and risking many more,” said U.S. Attorney Myers. “Fentanyl traffickers commit their crimes with utter disregard for the lives of our friends and neighbors or the harm they cause to families in our community. I commend the outstanding work of the DEA, the Evansville Police Department, the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Drug Task Force, and our federal prosecutors to secure some measure of justice for the victims of this fentanyl dealer. The sentence imposed here should serve as a warning: these poisons kill—and selling them will earn you decades in federal prison.”

On June 25, 2022, in the late hours of the night, officers with the Evansville Police Department (EPD) responded to a call about an overdose from a residence on Wedeking Avenue. The first woman was lucky—and responders were able to revive her with naloxone. 

But within hours, at approximately 10:55 a.m. the next morning, EPD officers responded to the same residence for the overdose of another woman, who was only 19 years old, who subsequently died. The coroner found a fake oxycodone pill containing fentanyl when examining the body. The cause of both overdoses was determined to be fentanyl intoxication.

But “Mel” on Snapchat wasn’t done dealing his fake oxycodone pills.

On Aug. 20, 2022, EPD officers were dispatched to a restaurant located on Hirschland Road concerning an overdose. There, the officers found a woman hunched over, falling out of consciousness. But she was also lucky and was revived with naloxone and the woman regained consciousness. The woman told police that she thought she had simply taken a 30 mg tablet of oxycodone, which would not have caused an overdose. The woman’s companion, identified as “Leach,” supplied the pill at a residence on Shanklin Avenue. It was again traced to “Mel” after officers with the Evansville-Vanderburgh County Drug Task Force set up two more drug deals a few months later.

Police then executed a search warrant at Leach’s residence on Shanklin Avenue, where officers found 33 blue pills marked “30,” a digital scale, two 9mm pistols, and approximately $1,843 in cash.

“The sentence imposed on Mr. Leach is righteous and justified. Mr. Leach utilized social media platforms to advertise the sale of fentanyl and continued distributing the poisonous fentanyl even though it had already caused fatal and near fatal overdoses. The DEA would like to extend their deepest condolences to the Duncan family and all families who have lost a loved one to a fentanyl poising,” said DEA ASAC Gannon. “DEA remains committed to working hand in hand with our state, local and federal partners in order to keep our communities safe.  DEA commends the outstanding work by the Evansville Police Department, The Evansville-Vanderburgh County Drug Task Force and the United States Attorney’s Office.”

‘Hit Me Up’ for Weed on Snapchat

A much lesser “threat” on Snapchat is the sale of weed. A woman was busted in 2018 for setting up her weed business on Snapchat (which is admittedly much safer than selling fentanyl.)

The Beatrice Daily Sun reported in 2018 that Nebraska authorities were tipped off about a Snapchat video made by a woman named Madison D. Carlson. In the video, she held a large bag of cannabis, with a corresponding caption reading “Hit me up.”

Following the post, someone snitched, and authorities went to Carlson’s residence around 9:30 p.m. and immediately noticed two cars in a nearby alley with their lights on. In one vehicle, police found Carson with one female minor. According to police documents, the car reeked of weed. In the other, a male juvenile, who, upon further inspection, was carrying a concealed bag of marijuana in his waistband.

The two female accomplices told police they had just gotten rid of the pot until Carlson was removed from the vehicle, and eventually forked over an additional 32 grams and $80 in cash. Since minors were involved, Carlson also faced serious charges, even though cannabis is not capable of causing bodily injury in the same way that fentanyl is.

Plugs can be found on just about any social media platform, but especially when it comes to pills, buyer beware, as deadly counterfeit pills abound.

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