A Philadelphia drug dealer responsible for supplying heroin to lower-level drug dealers in Newark will spend the next 10 years in federal prison, prosecutors announced Thursday.

Canda Quach, 28, was sentenced in Wilmington after pleading guilty to conspiracy to distribute drugs.

“Canda Quach was the gatekeeper for large quantities of heroin capsules in Delaware,” U.S. Attorney David C. Weiss said. “His product was so potent that at least two members of the conspiracy drove from Newark to Philadelphia to replenish their stock.”

Authorities began investigating in 2017 after a Delaware resident died of a heroin overdose and police found heroin capsules at the scene.

“Heroin sold in Delaware is typically packaged in clear plastic baggies containing a blue wax paper sheet, which is usually 'stamped' or otherwise branded to differentiate it from other types of heroin.,” Kim Reeves, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office said. “The emergence of heroin capsule sales in the greater Newark area was novel and unique to Delaware.”

Undercover FBI agents watched as local drug dealers Jaawan Wallace and his brother, Malik Brown, traveled to Philadelphia to buy heroin from Quach, according to court documents. Brown later sold some of the heroin to another dealer at a Newark apartment complex.

Weiss noted that Quach has spent nearly all of his adult life either on probation, under pretrial supervision or in flight from law enforcement and was already on probation for drug dealing when he sold the heroin capsules.

“Failing to learn from his prior incarceration for drug dealing, the defendant quickly and impressively escalated his heroin sales,” Weiss said. “He became the sole source of supply for these potent heroin capsules in the District of Delaware.”

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