NewsLocal NewsSummit County

Actions

Akron native's overdose death is allegedly linked to fentanyl shipped to US by Chinese citizens

Posted: 8:01 AM, Aug 23, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-23 10:30:58-04

He was just 37 years old when he overdosed on straight fentanyl. Thomas Rauh was one of two young people in Akron whose deaths are allegedly linked to two Chinese citizens who manufactured over 250 kinds of drugs in Shanghai and shipped them to the U.S.

"The purity, the danger of these drugs is unprecedented," said U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions during a news conference in Cleveland.

Sessions said the pair had their own laboratory and promised customers if their drugs were seized by customs, they would re-ship them for free.

"I was surprised, that's not your typical drug dealer but this epidemic is not hitting your typical drug abuser either," said Brenda Ryan.

Ryan lost her daughter, Sheena Marie Moore in June of 2016.

"She'd kicked this heroin habit years before and we thought we were saved and she was doing well, and we didn't realize she was relapsing again," said Ryan.

Moore also died from a fentanyl overdose, and although her death wasn't directly linked to the Chinese father-son pair, Ryan believes they could have been supplying her daughter's dealers.

"You can order this through the dark web," she said. "And have it shipped to your home and it's not going to be that detectable because it's such a small amount is so deadly."

While processing her daughter's death, Ryan has been fighting for change. She's started her own organization for grieving parents, and just a few weeks ago, she was there when Senator Kasich signed an important bill.

"Senate Bill 1 is just going to make fentanyl and carfentanyl a higher-degree felony than what it is now," said Ryan. She says she is encouraged that suppliers are finally facing consequences.

"We can't just throw out hands up and give up. We have to do something. We're losing a whole generation. We have to do something," Ryan said.