Man Accused Of Shipping Fentanyl To His Workplace

By Kelly Burch 03/16/18

According to police, the man claimed that he used synthetic opioids to help him stop looking at child pornography.

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A Columbus, Ohio man has been charged after ordering fentanyl and carfentanil online and having the drugs shipped to his place of work. 

According to the Marion Star, Ryan D. Kluth, 47, allegedly bought drugs on the dark web and had them shipped to his employer, Alloway Environmental Testing, a lab where Kluth worked.

Law enforcement intercepted a package coming from Canada that contained 0.09 grams (90 milligrams) of a fentanyl analog. A 3-milligram dose of fentanyl is enough to kill an average-sized man

Kluth reportedly told law enforcement that he had been having fentanyl and carfentanil shipped to his employer and his home for about a year. When Kluth consented to having his devices searched, authorities found that he had been on a child pornography site. Kluth reportedly claimed that he used the synthetic opioids to help him stop looking at child pornography, and that he had not been on the site in a year.

However, authorities said they found more than 29,000 photos and videos on his computer that appeared to be child pornography. They also found a history of 10 orders for fentanyl, carfentanil and other synthetic opioids that had been placed between February and September of 2017. 

Law enforcement filed a complaint on March 6, charging Kluth with conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances, attempted possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography. It was not clear when Kluth would be back in court to face the charges. 

Authorities say that fentanyl being shipped via the U.S. Postal Service and other couriers is a major problem. Loopholes in the laws around international shipping mean that many packages can make it into the United States without having data collected about who is sending them, making it easier for drug traffickers to utilize couriers to deliver deadly opioids. 

“Due to a loophole in the global postal system, packages sent via private couriers (like UPS or FedEx) are required to have the advance electronic data used by law enforcement to screen and stop dangerous material, while packages shipped via foreign postal services are not,” Alex Wolff, of the bipartisan coalition Americans for Securing All Packages, told Indiana's News and Tribune last year. 

Fentanyl and other synthetic opioids are easily shipped into the country from China and Mexico, say U.S. authorities. To prevent this, the Synthetics Trafficking & Overdose Prevention (STOP) Act, which would close loopholes, was introduced in the Senate and House of Representatives last February, but the legislation has made little progress. 

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Kelly Burch writes about addiction and mental health issues, particularly as they affect families. Follow her on TwitterFacebook, and LinkedIn.