7 charged in drug ring operation that resulted in at least 3 overdose deaths, authorities say

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- A drug ring investigation led to the arrest of 7 people from Harrisburg.

Now, three of the accused are potentially facing life behind bars.

All 7 people are accused of selling heroin and fentanyl in South Central Pennsylvania.

Three deadly overdoses are linked to the bust, and authorities telling FOX43 there could be more they don't know about.

"Certainly in a case like this, where are targeting those people who are profiting from those unfortunate deaths... those sentences are more than appropriate," said David Freed, United States Attorney.

Freed is talking about the three people potentially looking at life behind bars, accused of taking part in a multi-county drug ring
that caused three deadly overdoses in Lancaster and Cumberland Counties.

That's 23-year-old Adrian Ortiz-Diaz, 24-year-old Luis Jose Alicea-Solis, and 22-year-old Efrain Lopez, all from Harrisburg.

"At a base level, you're taking that drug dealer off the street for a long time. It also sends the message to people who are willing to engage in drug delivery that you could be charged by this," added Freed.

Court documents show federal authorities indicted 7 people from Harrisburg in all during their latest bust. Those people are accused of selling heroin and fentanyl to people in South Central Pennsylvania.

"We're working up the ladder to get the people distributing these drugs and causing these deaths," said Fran Chardo, Dauphin County District Attorney.

That we is a mix of federal, state, and local authorities taking part in 'Operation Save Milton' - 29 people in total charged to date.

"It takes a tremendous amount of patient for local police, for county drug task forces, for district attorneys to wait for an investigation of this size is complete."

Police arrested 22 people earlier this year for dealing cocaine, heroin, and fentanyl.

They say cocaine was allegedly sent from Puerto Rico to Pennsylvania using the United States Postal Service.

Authorities say the accused stored the drugs in Milton, Northumberland County before selling the drugs.

It's not their first or certainly last case.

"We're going to continue to work these cases together to achieve justice and combat this horrible epidemic," added Chardo.

Authorities say there is still more work to be done. They have 3 arrest warrants out for people who they say might not even be in the country.

The U.S. Attorney tells FOX43 he is confident those people will be caught and justice will be served for those victims, the ones they may not yet know about, and their families.

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