Man guilty of crime involving synthetic opioid 'equally as potent, if not more potent, than fentanyl'

Man guilty of crime involving synthetic opioid ‘equally as potent, if not more potent, than fentanyl’

(As originally published with additional photos, Fri, January 5th 2024)

MIAMI (TND) — A man in Florida has pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge involving a dangerous drug.

The feds say Will Catis, Sr., was identified as a drug trafficker during an investigation into Chinese chemical companies sending synthetic opioids to the U.S. and Mexico, and he was getting “protonitazene and metonitazene from Jiangsu Bangdeya New Material Technology Co. LTD.”

According to the feds, “Protonitazene is a synthetic opioid that is equally as potent, if not more potent, than fentanyl,” and back on Oct. 22, 2022, postal inspectors seized a parcel sent to him from Bangdeya.

The next week, they got a search warrant for the parcel and found “a plastic bag of yellowish powder determined to be 172.3 grams of protonitazene.”

Then, two months later, they got a search warrant for his electronic media which they say contained “videos reflecting a kilogram press, firearms, and large sums of U.S. currency.

“Additionally, there were screenshots and photos reflecting Catis’ drug trafficking, including chats with Chinese chemical company sales representatives, bags filled with a powdery substance that were similar to the seized protonitazene, and screenshots of advertisements from Chinese chemical companies selling protonitazene.”

Man guilty of crime involving synthetic opioid 'equally as potent, if not more potent, than fentanyl'
Will Catis, Sr., pleaded guilty to participating in a conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a synthetic opioid, and will be sentenced in April. (Booking photo: Broward Sheriff’s Office; Evidence: U.S. Attorney’s Office)

These are the substances the feds reported finding at Catis’ home and storage unit after his arrest:

(1) 258.7 grams of a mixture of bromazolam, protonitazene, metonitazene, and fentanyl;

(2) 1060.1 grams of a mixture of metonitazene, protonitazene, fentanyl, and lidocaine;

(3) 4654 grams of a mixture of n-propylbutylone, eutylone, fentanyl, heroin, metonitazene, protonitazene, p-fluorofentanyl, lidocaine, quinine, and caffeine;

(4) 726.5 grams of 3,4-Methylenedioxy-α-cyclohexylaminopropiophenone;

(5) 3.45 grams of protonitazene;

(6) 28.77 grams of a mixture of protonitazene and cocaine;

(7) 361.9 grams of a mixture N-Ethylpentylone, eutylone, metonitazene, protonitazene, fentanyl, heroin, α-Pyrrolidino-2-phenylacetophenone, p-Fluorofentanyl, quinine, lidocaine, and caffeine;

(8) 1389.6 grams of a mixture of N-Ethylpentylone, metonitazene, eutylone, heroin, α-Pyrrolidino-2-phenylacetophenone, ANPP, quinine, caffeine, and lidocaine;

(9) 571.6 grams of protonitazene;

(10) 27.8 grams of metonitazene;

(11) 28 grams of protonitazene;

(12) 448.4 grams of bromazolam; and

(13) 176 grams of a mixture of N-Propylbutylone, eutylone, metonitazene, fentanyl, protonitazene, bromazolam, heroin, lidocaine, quinine, and caffeine.

Catis, 42, pleaded guilty Friday to a charge of participating in a conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a synthetic opioid, protonitazene.

He faces 20 years in prison when he’s sentenced in April.

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