A Gwinnett County man has been convicted of making pills out of chemicals, including potentially deadly Furanyl Fentanyl, and labeling them as prescription painkiller Oxycodone.
The Department of Homeland Security told the Gwinnett Metro Task Force in November 2016 that Christopher Ramone West “was likely involved in the manufacturing of illegal pills” because West ordered large amounts of pill-making materials from a Canadian company, the district attorney’s office said.
Christopher Ramone West, 31, has been convicted of two counts of manufacturing and possession with intent to distribute of a noncontrolled substance, one count of use of a communication facility to commit a felony and six counts of possession of tools for the commission of a crime.
After placing West, 31, under surveillance for two months, Metro Task Force agents went to his home in Peachtree Corners, finding evidence that he was involved in making pills, but not finding pills or controlled substances, the DA’s office said.
Agents found a key to a self-storage facility while searching West’s home. When they went to the unit in Norcross, agents found an industrial pill press and two smaller pill presses; altogether, the equipment could produce 25,000 pills per hour, the DA’s office said. Agents also found more than seven kilograms of white powder, later determined to be Furanyl Fentanyl, an opioid that is five times less potent than pure fentanyl, and U-47700, an opioid that is 7.5 times more potent than morphine.
Agents also found more than 400 pills stamped as Oxycodone, a common painkiller, but consisting of Furanyl Fentanyl and U-47700, the DA’s office said. More than $265,000 in cash was found in a box with the falsely labeled pills. An agent that investigated the case testified at trial that West may have used Bitcoin on the Dark Web to order the drugs used to make the pills.
West has been convicted of two counts of manufacturing and possession with intent to distribute of a noncontrolled substance, one count of use of a communication facility to commit a felony and six counts of possession of tools for the commission of a crime.
He was found guilty in a bench trial, and Judge Kathryn Schrader sentenced him to 44 years, with 29 to be served in prison.
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