Follow-up to two-part series
Investigators watched Dontaysha Gibson leave her three-story apartment building in Ellet just before 9 a.m. Feb. 8, get in her car and motor off.
They didn’t stop the 21-year-old hair stylist then.
Federal investigators and Akron police had been investigating her father and stepmother — Donte and Audrey Gibson — since 2016. And this was the day of the couple’s arrest on federal drug conspiracy charges accusing them of leading a trafficking ring that helped spread fentanyl and carfentanil in Akron, Cleveland, Lorain and other Ohio cities.
A confidential source in the case told investigators Dontaysha Gibson and her boyfriend, Derrick A. Adams II, were part of the operation and used their Shadybrook Drive apartment to sell the synthetic opioids, court records show.
At 10:25 a.m., about 90 minutes after Dontaysha Gibson left home, investigators with a search warrant entered the apartment she and Adams shared to find out if it was true.
Gibson wasn’t there. But an FBI agent said in court records that Adams was on a bed in the master bedroom with guns, cash, drugs and a garage door opener that would lead agents to an even bigger find.
Gibson and Adams — like Donte and Audrey Gibson — now face federal conspiracy charges accusing them of selling fentanyl and carfentanil.
Their attorneys could not be reached Saturday and the couple, along with Donte and Audrey Gibson, have been in federal custody since their arrests earlier this month.
According to an FBI agent’s affidavit in this case, this is what investigators found at Dontaysha Gibson and Derrick Adams’ Ellet Park Gardens apartment.
The search apparently began in the bedroom where investigators found Adams. On the floor next to the bed, investigators found a 9 mm handgun loaded with 12 rounds of ammunition, the affidavit said.
When they slid open the top drawer of a nearby dresser, they found a second weapon — a .38-caliber gun loaded with five bullets — hidden under $17,708 in cash, the affidavit said.
And in another dresser, they found 28.8 grams of what tested positive for fentanyl, it said. It’s unclear if the synthetic opioid was pure, but the Ohio attorney general’s office has said about 2 milligrams of fentanyl — the equivalent of 32 grains of salt — can kill a person.
Yet investigators were about to find much more.
When they pressed the button on the garage door opener they pulled from Adams’ pocket, a door opened on a detached apartment garage outside.
There, investigators found a 2012 Chrysler. Inside the trunk, the affidavit said, investigators found a black bag holding a little more than 5 pounds of suspected marijuana.
And inside the car, investigators found a large plastic bag resting atop a canvas Louis Vuitton bag on the floor where a driver would rest his feet.
The plastic bag held enough cash to buy an Akron house or pay the tuition of two kids for four years at the University of Akron — $82,390 cash, the affidavit said.
And the Louis Vuitton bag, the affidavit said, held about 173 grams, or about 6 ounces, of white powder suspected to be fentanyl.
If pure and diluted with baking soda, sugar or some other cutting agent drug dealers use to extend their product, that could be worth more than $2 million sold on the streets, based on what another confidential informant said in the case.
Or, if not diluted, that amount of fentanyl could potentially kill 86,500 people (based on state attorney general numbers).
Amanda Garrett can be reached at 330-996-3725 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @agarrettABJ. Follow her on Twitter @agarrettabj.
Daughter arrested in Akron-area drug ring
Follow-up to two-part series