(Cleveland) - A Euclid man was arrested and charged in federal court after ordering shipments of suspected fentanyl and several other opioid analogues from China and selling the drugs domestically.
Antoin Austin, 28, was charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances.
Of course, a charge is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government's burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. However, according to an affidavit filed in the case:
Austin used the online moniker “DARKKING22” on the Dark Web. As of this month, DARKKING22 advertised some of the following items for sale: “Fentanyl Pure HCL, Methozymethylfentanyl ‘30490’, molly, pure lofentanil, and MMAF New Product.” Methozymethylfentanyl, pure lofentanil, and MMAF New Product are known to be various types of fentanyl analogues.
Undercover law enforcement agents made multiple purchases of opioids from DARKKING22 on the Dark Web in 2018. The purchases were made using bitcoins and the shipments indicated the letters carrying the drugs originated in the Cleveland area.
Law enforcement this month tracked the shipment of a drug package sent by DARKKING22 to the Wickliffe Post Office on Lloyd Road. Surveillance groups this week observed Austin travel from his home in Euclid to the Wickliffe Post Office, where he attempted to mail packages using false return addresses.
Law enforcement in October 2017 seized a package being shipped to Austin from a known Chinese fentanyl distributor. The parcel was opened and found to contain 10 grams of fentanyl.
“This defendant ordered thousands of deadly doses of fentanyl from China, brought it to a residential neighborhood in Euclid and then mailed the dangerous drugs all over Ohio and across the country,” U.S. Attorney Herdman said. “Drug traffickers like this have enriched themselves while causing so much pain in our community.”
Acting FBI Special Agent in Charge Jeff Fortunato said: “Opioids have killed thousands of our friends and neighbors. The FBI will continue to work with all our partners to reduce the supply of these deadly drugs.”
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and U.S. Postal Inspection Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Cronin.
(Photos by Getty Images)
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