EUCLID, Ohio — A Euclid man has been charged in federal court after being found in possession of more than 900 pills of fentanyl that appeared to be oxycodone.
According to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Ryan Gaston, 29, was arrested Feb. 3 and charged with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and crack cocaine.
A search of Gaston’s house revealed crack cocaine, a rifle and about 926 round blue pills investigators believed were 30 mg oxycodone pills. Subsequent tests revealed the pills were actually fentanyl.
Fentanyl is a very potent synthetic opiate used to treat pain and as a surgical anesthetic, according to a release.
While heroin is about three times as potent as morphine, fentanyl is 80 to 100 times more powerful than morphine. There were 37 fentanyl-related deaths in Cuyahoga County in 2014. In 2015, there were 89. So far this year, there have already been at least 19.
“Each one of these pills is capable of killing a person,” acting U.S. Attorney Carole Rendon said. “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.”