CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A Euclid man appeared in federal court Monday after investigators say he had more than 900 fentanyl pills on him when he was arrested.
Ryan Gaston, 29, is charged with with conspiracy to distribute fentanyl and crack cocaine.
Gaston was arrested on Feb. 3.
While searching his car and home police found rocks of crack cocaine, a 9 mm High Point rifle and 926 round blue pills believed to be Oxycodone 30 mg pills. According to the criminal complaint, a subsequent test revealed the pills were not Oxycodone, but instead fentanyl.
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.
"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."
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.
Download the Cleveland 19 News app.