In a cross-country drug-smuggling scheme, 16 people mailed stuffed animals filled with oxycodone pills to high-end apartments in the Philadelphia suburbs, authorities said Tuesday.

In addition to thousands of pills, ringleaders Amir Green, 29, of Ardmore, and his girlfriend, Kadesah Wright, 24, of Philadelphia, dealt fentanyl, guns missing their serial numbers, and marijuana, state and federal authorities said. They were charged with using fake and stolen identities to lease luxury apartments in Chadds Ford, Exton, King of Prussia, and Norristown for use in sending and receiving packages to and from California.

“Many people become addicted first through a legitimate opioid or oxy prescription, then move on to buying oxycodone pills on the street before moving on to heroin,” Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin R. Steele said in a statement. “All of this poison is killing residents of Montgomery County and other communities in the region.”

Among others charged in the operation were Green’s 19-year-old brother, Cory Scott, also of Ardmore, and Willie Webster, 29, of Los Angeles. Webster, authorities said, shipped hundreds of oxycodone pills hidden inside stuffed teddy bears and rabbits.

A stuffed rabbit filled with Oxycodone pills.
Montgomery County District Attorney's Office
A stuffed rabbit filled with Oxycodone pills.

Nine others were arrested. They are: Julie Arthin, 22, of Newtown Square; Sheena Byrd, 36, and Dustin Gilmour, 31, both of Wayne; Juanna Taylor, 29, of King of Prussia; Anthony Pollitt, 49, of Bryn Mawr; and Farid Brown, 26; Theodore Gaines, 32; Michael Gaffney, 31; and Robert Thorn, 30, all of Philadelphia.

Police continue to search for Promise Hardnett, 43, Jamil King, 33, and Tylil Lilly, 22, all of Philadelphia.

All have been charged with crimes related to drug and firearms trafficking, identity theft, and forgery.

Thirteen of the 16 people charged in a cross-country drug-smuggling operation that authorities said hid oxycodone pills in stuffed teddy bears and rabbits. Authorities are continuing to look for three other suspects.
Montgomery County District Attorney's Office
Thirteen of the 16 people charged in a cross-country drug-smuggling operation that authorities said hid oxycodone pills in stuffed teddy bears and rabbits. Authorities are continuing to look for three other suspects.

The investigation, authorities said, started in February when U.S. Homeland Security alerted Upper Merion police that Green and King were suspected of using an apartment at the Smith Valley Forge complex to deal drugs. Over the next few months, investigators tracked cell phones and payments, and kept close watch on the operation.

Police ultimately seized eight guns, 432 oxycodone pills, fentanyl, cocaine, close to three pounds of marijuana, and $30,000.

Green and Wright were arraigned earlier this month on $500,000 cash bail. Both remain in the Montgomery County prison.