29 August 2017
Kyle Enos (25) from Maindee Parade, Gwent has today pleaded guilty to importing, supplying and exporting class A drugs after investigators identified that he was using the dark web to purchase the highly toxic synthetic opioid fentanyl.
Appearing at Cardiff Crown Court, Enos admitted using a number of online identities to buy and supply significant amounts of the opioid to various outlets in the UK, USA and Canada between May 2016 and May 2017.
Enos was arrested in May 2017 by officers from the National Crime Agency, supported by Gwent Police. Items consistent with the preparation and packaging of drugs were recovered from his home, as well as several packages of a white powder believed to contain fentanyl.
During interview, Enos admitted purchasing fentanyl from China which he would adulterate and sell over the dark web to customers in the UK and abroad.
To date, enquiries have identified 168 customers – 92 in the UK and 76 overseas - and police forces are looking into a number of drug related deaths linked to the NCA investigation.
Fentanyl is a highly toxic synthetic opioid approximately 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine. As little as 0.002g of fentanyl (within a typical 0.1g heroin deal) is potentially fatal.
There are a number of fentanyl analogues, including carfentanyl, which are compounds with a similar structure to that of fentanyl but with varying potency. Carfentanyl is as much as 10,000 times stronger than street heroin - 0.00002g, the equivalent of a few grains within a typical heroin deal, constitutes a lethal dose.
Due to the very small quantities in which fentanyl analogues can be consumed without lethal consequences, blending these with class A drugs is difficult and dangerous. The result is often inconsistent so the mixture or dose contains ‘hotspots’ - random concentrations of the fentanyl analogue.
Colin Williams from the National Crime Agency said:
“The threat posed by synthetic opioids is not new and we have seen a number of drug related deaths linked to fentanyl and carfentanyl in recent months.
“We have taken action with partners in the UK and overseas against people we believe are responsible for playing Russian roulette with the lives of drug users by mixing synthetic opiods with drugs such as heroin.
“Kyle Enos is one of these individuals.
“The NCA will keep targeting the source of the threat, but I would encourage drug users and their friends and family to be vigilant and seek guidance on how to protect themselves and their loved ones”.
The case has been adjourned until the 18th December 2017 and Enos has been remanded in custody.