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Press Release

Federal Indictment in Chicago Charges Man With Illegally Importing Suicide Drug Into the U.S. From Mexico

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Illinois

CHICAGO — A federal grand jury in Chicago has indicted a Mexican resident on drug charges for allegedly illegally importing the drug Pentobarbital into the United States from Mexico for use in committing suicide.

A superseding indictment returned Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago charges DANIEL GONZALEZ-MUNGUIA, also known as “Alejandro Vasquez,” 40, of Puebla, Mexico, with importing and distributing a controlled substance.  The charges in the indictment are punishable by up to 60 years in federal prison.

Gonzalez-Munguia is currently detained in U.S. custody.  Arraignment in federal court in Chicago has not yet been scheduled.

The indictment was announced by Morris Pasqual, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Sean Fitzgerald, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of Homeland Security Investigations, and Ruth Mendonça, Inspector-in-Charge of the Chicago Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.  Valuable assistance was provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Illinois Army National Guard Counterdrug Program, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas, and law enforcement agencies in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Ireland, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Kartik K. Raman is prosecuting the case.  The officials noted that the investigation remains ongoing.

Pentobarbital, also known as Nembutal, is a drug sold in Mexico in commercially available bottles for the purpose of euthanizing animals.  Pentobarbital is a controlled substance in the U.S. and has been used in state-sponsored executions.

According to the indictment and a criminal complaint previously filed in the case, Gonzalez-Munguia operated an online drug business to facilitate the sale and distribution of Pentobarbital to individuals in the U.S. and throughout the world who were contemplating suicide.  During the investigation, law enforcement located numerous mail parcels that appear to have been shipped out of Mexico by Gonzalez-Munguia.  Authorities in the U.S. and several foreign countries conducted well-being checks and recovered pentobarbital from numerous individuals who admitted to being despondent and ordering the suicide drug online via email addresses operated by Gonzalez-Munguia, the charges allege.  Law enforcement offered assistance to these individuals.  In other instances, individuals who purchased Pentobarbital via the email addresses were later found to be deceased, including individuals in Illinois and several other states and countries, the charges allege.

The public is reminded that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Updated May 30, 2024

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