A criminal complaint filed by the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Florida reveals how flakka is brought into the U.S. and distributed by a dealer. On Thursday, authorities announced the arrest of a 22-year-old Palm Beach woman named Jaime Lewis for importing flakka from China, where authorities say the highly-addictive drug is mixed and made before being shipped out through Internet orders. The DEA was able to track a package addressed to her that contained a-PVP, the main ingredient used to make flakka.
But, according to the criminal complaint, Lewis is merely a cog in a flakka distribution machine that ends with a man authorities identified as a flakka dealer. The complaint reveals just how the man, Kevin Raphael Bully, was able to get flakka into the country, and how he allegedly operated to get it out into the streets.
DEA Agents stationed in London received information from British authorities over several packages that had been intercepted from a chemical company in Hong Kong. The Chinese chemical company had been using a worldwide express delivery service to ship a-PVP to buyers like Bully in the United States.
In an attempt to nab the suspects, DEA agents went undercover as DHL shipping employees with the packages intended for Bully. The agents repackaged the shipment with sham drugs and delivered it to an address in Palm Beach. There the undercover agents found Bully, who had been expecting the package. The name on the package belonged to Lewis, but Bully signed for it. Agents then waited and watched as Bully took the package to another location.
When authorities pulled Bully’s Audi over, they observed wads of cash — up to $8,000 worth — wrapped in rubberbands, sitting on the console of the car.
DEA agents searched Bully’s home and found three cell phones, a personal computer, and another $60,000 in cash, all allegedly used to run his flakka distribution operation. They also found a white substance believed to be used as an additive to the drugs, as well as a handgun and loaded magazine clip.
Flakka is extremely low-priced drug, with one kilogram usually producing as many as 10,000 individual doses that can then be sold for just $4 or $5 on the street at 1/10 a gram at a time.
According to investigators, Bully would use different names and addresses for deliveries so that the packages wouldn’t be tracked back to him. He also used a system where he had his “employees” write return to sender on the packages as soon as they received them, as another precaution to not have authorities track the drugs back to him. Return to sender would indicate that the package didn’t belong to him in the first place.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to New Times Broward-Palm Beach's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling South Florida's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
The complaint describes a text conversation on Bully’s iPhone with a Pompano woman named Marsha Destin where this ploy was discussed:
Authorities also found messages Bully exchanged with Lewis where he had the woman drive to a residence to wait for a flakka shipment. This shipment, Bully told Lewis, would be addressed to a Calvin Lee — Bully’s brother — from international shipping company Aramex.
Those text messages also revealed that Bully asked Lewis for a website URL to place an order. He also asked her to send a photo of his mother’s credit card number to place the order. According to the complaint, authorities believe the website Bully referred to is an underground site where he gets his orders of flakka from:
On April 9, DEA agents stationed in Hong Kong alerted the U.S. office that more suspected a-PVP packages were going to be shipped through Aramex into the United States. One of these packages was addressed to Lewis under her middle name, along with her phone number. The package was tracked and seized, and tested positive for presence of a-PVP. The package ultimately led authorities to Bully, who is now facing a maximum statutory sentence of 20 years in prison if convicted.