A 59-year-old man in Kitchener, Ontario is facing up to a US $1 million dollar fine and 20 years in prison for attempting to export bootleg fentanyl and another synthetic drug, pentylone. Karl Morrison and his wife, 60-year-old Sorina Morrison, pleaded guilty to attempting to export the drugs from China to the US after being arrested at the US-Canadian border near Niagara Falls when crossing into Canada.
The couple had crossed into the US on October 15, 2016 to retrieve four packages sent from China containing the drugs at a P.O. box in New York State, bought packaging supplies, and repackaged the substance to ship them to Canada, according to the US Attorney's office. When shipping packages containing 6.5 grams of furanyl fentanyl (a bootleg fentanyl product) and 500 grams of pentylone, Sorina said she was shipping cinnamon butter home to Canada. Due to the high potency of fentanyl, which is up to 100 times more potent than morphine, miniscule amounts can mean the difference between a high and an overdose. A recent report claimed that two people a day die in Ontario due opioid overdoses.
Sorina is also facing up to a US $250,000 fine and three years. According to court documents, the couple had told US border guards upon entering the country that they were going to go shopping.
"The couple discarded the Chinese shipping labels of the original packages in various garbage cans around Niagara County to cover their tracks," reads the US Attorney's release. "They also obtained the name and address of an unsuspecting citizen in Niagara Falls to use as the return address on the packages they shipped to Canada, to further disguise the origin of the illegal contents." They were trying to ship the drugs to Canada, including one package that was destined for their home address.
In addition to using a random's address as the return address in their attempted drug trafficking scheme, the couple also blamed their son Albert, whom Karl claimed was a known drug abuser, saying that they picked up the packages for him, Global News reports.
"Albert had explained to Karl what he was having sent to the mailbox in Niagara Falls," the complaint states. "Karl Morrison said he did not understand everything his son was telling him, but that Albert said the names of the things he was sending started with 'F' and 'U."'
The couple are set to appear in court in Buffalo, New York in July for sentencing.
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