SAN DIEGO – The U.S. Attorney’s office is prosecuting the first local case involving the seizure of carfentanil, the relatively new synthetic opioid that is 100 times stronger than Fentanyl and 10,000 times more potent than morphine.
The defendant, Sky Gornik, is accused of trafficking in carfentanil, fentanyl, ketamine and other drugs through the U.S. Mail over a period of several years.
During a search of Gornik’s house in Clairemont, federal agents and local police found a wide variety of drugs, including a small baggie containing 1.77 grams of carfentanil – which experts say equates to about 86,000 fatal doses.
Agents also seized gel tablets containing fentanyl and methamphetamine. Agents learned that Gornik ordered these fentanyl gel tablets (approximately 600 units per week over the past two years) over the dark web from a dealer in Oklahoma. The Oklahoma dealer purchased the fentanyl directly from China.
Federal agents seized $1.2 million in digital currency in that case.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is also prosecuting its first case involving the fentanyl precursor chemical known as “4ANPP.” This is the primary ingredient for manufacturing fentanyl. The 4ANPP precursor was mailed from China directly to locations in San Ysidro. Traffickers typically take the product from the U.S. into Mexico, where fentanyl is manufactured. Once the traffickers manufacture the fentanyl with the 4ANPP, they attempt to smuggle the fentanyl back into the United States.
In the precursor case, a former Border Patrol agent, Cesar Daleo, was arrested and charged with drug crimes after he went to a post office box in San Ysidro to pick up a package containing 4ANPP. But unbeknownst to the defendant, authorities were on to him. Customs and Border Protection agents at Los Angeles International Airport had intercepted the original package, which originated in China and was bound for San Ysidro. Homeland Security Investigations agents then replaced the 4ANPP with a harmless substance and waited for someone to pick it up.
Daleo was arrested soon after he picked up the package. According to charging documents, Daleo had picked up packages at the same location 13 previous times in the last year.
One kilogram of precursor 4ANPP was seized that day, but that amount could make approximately 25 kilograms of fentanyl in the possession of Mexican Drug Trafficking Organizations’ production labs.