West Virginia Woman Guilty of Possessing Fentanyl
Fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid similar to morphine which produces analgesia to a greater extent i.e. 50-100 times more than morphine is used as an anesthetic agent as well as in management of breakthrough pain in cancer patients who require around the clock pain management.
Although the drug has some important medicolegal uses, but it is one of the most abused drugs in the world.
According to the study conducted by 24/7 Wall Street in United States of America, in 2019 fentanyl is among the 25 most dangerous drugs in the world and it largely contributes to the number of deaths due to drugs.
It is a highly toxic and addictive drug which is disguisedly mixed with heroin and sold in the market. When the users consume this adulterated drug it causes death due to overdose. It is a prohibited drug which is notoriously manufactured in clandestine laboratories of Mexico.
A case of fentanyl distribution has been observed by the West Virginia police of Mary Elizabeth Curran, a 37 years old Parkersburg woman has pleaded on being guilty to possession of fentanyl with an intent to distribute 40 or more grams of fentanyl in the Southern District of West Virginia.
According to the documents and statements made in court, It was on April 27, 2021, when Curran obtained a quantity of fentanyl in Columbus, Ohio, and intended to distribute in the Parkersburg area.
On that date, law enforcement officers stopped a vehicle in which Curran was a passenger, when it entered Wood County from Ohio.
Officers suspected that Curran was hiding some suspicious controlled substances with herself, so they transported her to the North Central Regional Jail for an X-ray body scan.
While awaiting the body scan, Curran cleverly attempted to flush two plastic bags containing powder. However those bags clogged the toilet and the officers noticed that. The toilet was taken apart and the bags were recovered.
The West Virginia State Police Forensic Laboratory when performed the examination, it confirmed that one bag contained approximately 56 grams of fentanyl and the other bag contained approximately 28.5 grams of a fentanyl analogue.
The lab also recovered Curran’s DNA on one bag, while the other bag had her fingerprint. Curran is scheduled to be sentenced on March 2 and faces a mandatory imprisonment of minimum five years, plus at least four years of supervised release, and a fine of $5,000,000.
One of the United States attorney made the announcement and commended the investigative work of the Parkersburg Drug and Violent Crime Task Force and the West Virginia State Police.