Homeland security agents and Portage County drug investigators used evidence they obtained by searching through a Newton Falls man’s garbage to file federal charges against him and his one-time live-in girlfriend for selling synthetic drugs, including synthetic PCP, over the internet, according to a federal search warrant unsealed Wednesday.
The search warrant affidavit unsealed Wednesday by U.S. District Judge Sara Lioi from a February raid of Ryan Kralik’s 31 E. Church St. home says Homeland Security investigators and agents with the Portage County Drug Task Force rummaged through Kralik’s garbage three times during their investigation, finding drugs, packages and other items that furthered their investigation into Kralik’s online bath salts distributing website, freshsalts.com.
Kralik, 32, and Ruth Eimers, 36, of Ravenna, were indicted last week on six federal drug charges. Kralik was freed Wednesday after his bond was set at $25,000. Both have pleaded not guilty. Eimers, charges say, helped Kralik pack and ship orders and was Kralik’s record keeper.
The affidavit says U.S. Customs and Border Protections seized two large shipments of illegal bath salts sent from China to one of Kralik’s residences, once on May 5, 2012, the other on June 29, 2012. The June package contained 224.6 grams of designer drugs in a DHL shipment addressed to “Linkage,” the affidavit says.
No one claimed the packages, which were destroyed.
The investigation began Oct. 31, when drug agents in Huron County, Mich. intercepted a mailed package from a Kralik’s Diamond address that state police tested and found contained bath salts.
Homeland Security agents and the Portage County Drug Task Force started investigating Kralik’s website and found several advertisements for products, some of which explicitly say are legal.
The website offers 10 to 15 different types of bath salts imported from China for $29 to $59 for a quarter or half gram, the affidavit says. Customers could also buy the drugs in bulk for between $299 and $459, the indictment says. The affidavit also says Kralik marketed the drugs to be sold to others intending on reselling them, saying they could make up to $400 profit if they bought a “Retail Sampler Pack” priced at $409.
The bath salts were given names similar to slang terms for other drugs, the charges say, including “Eightballz Extreme,” “Faux-Caine,” “Zombie Girls Extra Strength” and “8Ballz of Fire,” among others, charges say.
The website directs customers to purchase bath salts with money orders or cashier’s checks to R.M. Kralik, by Western Union wire transfer to Ryan Kralik in Warren, Ohio or by sending cash sent to FGS in Diamond, the charges say.
The next day, officers made an account on the website using a fake name. They bought $223.63 worth of bath salts. On Nov. 7, two days after receiving the order, task force members took three trash bags from Kralik’s home in Diamond, finding little but mail and a Prevention magazine with Kralik’s name and address.
Nine days after receiving another shipment, this time for $484 worth of items, officers went to Kralik’s Church Street home, where he had recently moved, and seized more garbage. They found Kralik received mail in Diamond, Newton Falls and Kent. They also found the order form from the fake customer they created, an invoice for their order, a destroyed laptop missing a hard drive, packaging and envelopes that contained mint extract and synthetic drugs, the affidavit says.
They discovered on Dec. 4 that the second shipment contained items made from only caffeine. Agents wrote drug dealers often sell batches of non-drugs “in order to thwart law enforcement laboratories.”
The agents wrote drug dealers often know it takes long crime labs to test items and that they can use that time to create other synthetic drugs more difficult to test in the meantime.
BCI tests from the first package showed a designer drug for Mephedrone, a synthetic amphetamine. The affidavit also says some of the drugs may be a derivative of the drug PCP, which would require more extensive testing.
On Dec. 12, agents again took Kralik’s trash, finding payment receipts and envelopes containing payments from all over the country. They also found bank and credit card statements, notes containing orders and bath salt sales and Mephedrone containers with the drug inside.
Agents then raided Kralik’s home Feb. 6 and found 110.4 grams of bath salts, guns, ammunition and drug paraphernalia, charges say.