GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) – Two people are accused of trying to use the mail to distribute the drug U-47700 or “Pink,” according to US Attorney Beth Drake.
Drugs.com says the drug is a powerful synthetic opioid painkiller.
The bust happened at South Ridge Apartments in downtown Greenville.
Homeland Security investigators and crews in Hazmat suits could be seen at the apartments on South Church Street on Wednesday night.
They used hazmat suits out of caution because the drug is inhaled and could cause skin irritation issues for the responders, an ICE spokesperson says.
Officials say this is a customs operation due to items illegally crossing the border.
Theodore Vitaliy Khleborod, 28, and Ana Milena Barrero, 24, have been arrested on federal charges of:
• Possession with the intent to distribute and distribution of U-47700, a Schedule I controlled substance
• Conspiring to possess with intent to distribute and to distribute U-47700.
• Using the U.S. Mail to facilitate a drug trafficking crime.
The possession with intent to distribute charge, as well as the conspiracy charge both come with a maximum of 20 years in prison. The use of the US Postal Service charge comes with up to four years in prison. If the death of the Portland woman is factored in, that could come with a life sentence, according to the US Attorney’s office.
The case is being investigated by Special Agents with ICE-Homeland Security Investigations, the US Postal Inspection Service, DEA, Greenville Co. Sheriff’s Office and Greenville Police Department.
Testimony in court revealed investigators in Portland, Oregon found an 18-year-old dead in her apartment from an apparent drug overdoes.
Investigators say they found a baggie of U – 47700, also known as “pink”.
They found a parcel with a Greenville, South Carolina address, according to testimony.
They followed the trail and found out the victim had a ‘commercial relationship’ with Klehborod.
Agents said they had around the clock surveillance on the apartment in Greenville and searched a home in Greer.
The raid found 85 parcels that were meant to be sent to customers that contained what they think is U-47700, according to the US Attorney’s office.
They say they also found 9 kg, or roughly 20 pounds,of the drug and $30,000 in cash.
Investigators arrested Barrero outside her apartment. They say she had 20 to 30 parcels on her at the time.
The pair is due back in federal court, Monday, for a preliminary hearing.