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Press Release

Euclid man indicted for distribution of fentanyl and crack cocaine; also faces firearm charge

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

A three-count indictment was filed in federal court charging a Euclid man for having more than 900 pills of fentanyl, crack cocaine and a firearm, said Acting U.S. Attorney Carole Rendon.

Ryan Gaston, 29, was indicted on one count each of possession with intent to distribute fentanyl, possession with intent to distribute crack cocaine, and possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking.

Gaston was arrested on Feb. 3 in Cleveland Heights. A search of his car, and subsequent search of his apartment, revealed rocks of crack cocaine, a 9 mm High Point rifle and approximately 925 round blue pills believed to be Oxycodone 30 mg pills.

A test revealed the pills were not Oxycodone, but instead fentanyl, according to court documents.

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, according to court documents.

“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 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.

If convicted, the defendant’s sentence will be determined by the court after a review of the federal sentencing guidelines and factors unique to the case, including the defendant’s prior criminal record (if any), the defendant’s role in the offense, and the characteristics of the violation.

An indictment is only a charge and 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.

Updated March 2, 2016

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