How a suburban well-being check cracked an international ‘suicide drug’ operation

A well-being check at a Libertyville hotel nearly a decade ago has resulted in federal charges for a Mexican national accused of illegally shipping a suicide-assistance drug to multiple countries.

Prosecutors said Daniel Gonzalez-Munguia, 40, of Puebla, Mexico, is in federal custody and awaiting arraignment.

Gonzalez-Munguia is charged with importing and distributing a controlled substance, according to court papers. Authorities from 10 countries assisted in the investigation, records show.

In March 2016, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents working in Kentucky intercepted a package shipped from Mexico and addressed to a long-term stay hotel in Libertyville, authorities say. Tests conducted on the contents determined it to be a drug commonly used to euthanize animals, court records show.

The investigation was turned over to U.S. Department of Homeland Security agents based in Chicago. Those agents accompanied local law enforcement officers making a well-being check on the intended recipient, a Lake Villa man staying at the Libertyville hotel, officials said.

The man told investigators that he was despondent over the recent breakup of his marriage and was contemplating suicide when he ordered the drugs. He found out about the drugs from an online search and sent nearly $700 via Western Union to Gonzalez-Munguia, authorities said.

During their interview, the man told authorities he was in counseling for his depression and no longer felt suicidal. He also allowed authorities access to his online communications with the seller, which enabled investigators to ultimately identify Gonzalez-Munguia as their suspect, authorities said.

Investigators secured a search warrant to access the email account linked to Gonzalez-Munguia’s sales.

Investigators uncovered numerous sales conversations via email with individuals throughout the United States, including other suburban residents, authorities said.

One such contact involved a Mount Prospect resident who purchased the drugs in August 2015 and was worried if it was enough based on their weight. Gonzalez-Munguia wrote back, according to court records, providing dosage specifications based on various weights.

The Mount Prospect resident was found dead in December 2015 with a suicide note near their body, prosecutors reported.

Eventually, investigators contacted Gonzalez-Munguia through the email account provided on the website and ordered the drugs to be shipped to Batavia, which led to the federal charges against him.

Gonzalez-Munguia faces up to 60 years in prison if convicted.

Anyone struggling with thoughts of self-harm should contact the National Suicide & Crisis Hotline by dialing 988.

Source link

Leave a Comment