West Chester Drug Dealer Pleads Guilty to Purchasing Hundreds of Deadly Fentanyl Pills Disguised as Oxycodone
PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced that Ryan Menkins, 37, of Malvern, PA, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge H. Slomsky, for his role in distributing more than 900 pills containing a dangerous fentanyl analogue, a Schedule I controlled substance.
In August 2019, Menkins and his co-defendant, Kevin Swing, were charged by Superseding Indictment with conspiracy to distribute and distributing a substance containing a fentanyl analogue for their scheme to sell fentanyl disguised as prescription oxycodone. In May 2018, Swing used an intermediary to sell more than 900 pills containing the narcotic cyclopropyl fentanyl, a fentanyl equivalent, to Menkins for $5,600. Each pill was imprinted with “ETH 446,” which is typically found on Oxycodone Hydrochloride 30 mg pills. In other words, the fentanyl pills were intentionally mislabeled as legitimate, prescription oxycodone pills. In January 2020, defendant Swing pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced to 6 ½ years in prison in September of that year.
“Prescription medication like oxycodone is already vulnerable to misuse and abuse, but when a substance as dangerous as fentanyl is made to appear to be prescription medication, it can have catastrophic consequences,” said U.S. Attorney Romero. “Fentanyl is killing Americans every day, and Menkins significantly contributed to this epidemic in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.”
“Ryan Menkins pushed pills that looked like regular prescription oxycodone, which in reality contained a drug related to fentanyl,” said Jacqueline Maguire, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI's Philadelphia Division. “Each sale was a potentially deadly transaction for customers — or anyone else who stumbled upon these deceptive drugs. The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to battle the dealers and traffickers endangering our communities in the name of making money off of the opioid epidemic.”
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Newtown Square Resident Agency and the West Whiteland Township Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew T. Newcomer.