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Man arrested for shipping $3M worth of fentanyl to unsuspecting Maine restaurant hoping for new mugs

Employees at a Maine restaurant got the shock of a lifetime Friday when they opened a delivery and found $3 million worth of fentanyl — not the shipment of new mugs they had been awaiting.

Staffers at Mac’s Grill in Auburn broke open the large wooden crate, thinking the mugs they ordered were inside, but instead discovered a plastic tote with 31 pounds of the deadly drug packaged into bricks inside, Auburn police said.

The tote had a shipping label from Arizona and was listed the name “Jeremy Mercier” above the eatery’s address, but no one by that name worked at the restaurant.

The restaurant staff called the police and when the mystery man arrived an hour later asking for a package that was shipped with his name on it, cops were waiting with handcuffs ready.

Police arrested Mercier, 41, and confiscated $2,7800 he had on him as evidence of alleged drug dealing proceeds in addition to the $3 million worth of fentanyl.

It’s unclear why he chose Mac’s Grill to send the drugs to, but owner Mike Peters said he was happy he and his employees were able to help intercept the highly potent opioids.

“I am glad that this fentanyl didn’t make its way to the ‘street,’” he told WMTW in a statement. “The instances of overdose in our, and surrounding, communities is awful, and fentanyl seems to be front and center when it comes to fatalities. It is very sad.”

Jeremy Mercier, of Auburn, was charged with two felonies and one misdemeanor after he came looking for the package.
Auburn (Maine) Police Department

Man arrested for shipping $3M worth of fentanyl to unsuspecting Maine restaurant hoping for new mugs
Auburn police confirmed the drugs were fentanyl and estimated that there were about 31 pounds of the synthetic opioid in the package.
Auburn (Maine) Police Department

Still, he very politely asked the public to send their drugs elsewhere next time.

“If there are folks out there considering having their drugs shipped here, we would kindly ask that they choose somewhere else,” Peters wrote.

Mercier — who was out on pre-conviction bail for an unrelated criminal charge — was charged with aggravated illegal importation of scheduled drugs, aggravated trafficking of scheduled drugs, and violation of conditional release.

He was being held in the Androscoggin County Jail without bail.

“This is an active, ongoing investigation and we do anticipate that our state and federal partners will be joining this investigation,” Auburn Deputy Chief Tim Cougle said.

The alleged drug dealer served several years in federal prison for a 2007 conviction for the distribution of cocaine, according to Auburn police.

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