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Press Release

Euclid man charged in federal court after arrest with more than 900 pills of fentanyl

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

A Euclid man was charged in federal court with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and crack cocaine after he was arrested with more than 900 pills of fentanyl, law enforcement officials said.

Ryan Gaston, 29, was arrested on Feb. 3. A search of his car and home apartment revealed rocks of crack cocaine, a 9 mm High Point rifle and approximately 926 round blue pills believed to be Oxycodone 30 mg pills. A subsequent test revealed the pills were not Oxycodone, but instead fentanyl, according to the criminal complaint.

Fentanyl is a very potent synthetic opiate used to treat pain and as a surgical anesthetic. While heroin is approximately three times as potent as morphine, fentanyl is approximately 80-100 times more powerful than morphine. There were 37 fentanyl-related deaths in Cuyahoga County In 2014. Last year, there were 89 and this year, there have already been at least 19, according to the complaint.

“Each one of these pills is capable of killing a person,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Carole Rendon. “We will continue to attack the opioid problem from all sides – prevention, education, treatment and enforcement. This defendant will be held accountable for spreading poison throughout our community.”

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Baeppler following an investigation by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Cleveland Heights Police Department, the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office and the Euclid Police Department.

Updated February 22, 2016

Drug Trafficking