Federal and International, Law and Order

Federal Indictment in Chicago Charges Man With Illegally Importing Suicide Drug Into the U.S. From Mexico

Chicago—(ENEWSPF)—A federal grand jury in Chicago indicted a Mexican resident on drug charges for allegedly illegally importing the “suicide drug” Pentobarbital into the United States from Mexico for use in taking one’s life.

A superseding indictment returned Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Chicago charges DANIEL GONZALEZ-MUNGUIA, also known as “Alejandro Vasquez,” 40, of Puebla, Mexico, with importing and distributing a controlled substance.  The charges in the indictment are punishable by up to 60 years in federal prison.

Gonzalez-Munguia is currently in U.S. custody.  An arraignment in federal court in Chicago has not yet been scheduled.

Officials Announcing

The following announced the indictment:

  • Morris Pasqual, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois,
  • Sean Fitzgerald, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office of Homeland Security Investigations,
  • and Ruth Mendonça, Inspector-in-Charge of the Chicago Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. 

Valuable assistance was provided by

  • U.S. Customs and Border Protection,
  • the Illinois Army National Guard Counterdrug Program,
  • the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Texas,
  • Law enforcement agencies in Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Ireland, South Korea, Spain, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Kartik K. Raman is prosecuting the case.  The officials noted that the investigation remains ongoing.

Pentobarbital, or Nembutal, is a drug sold in Mexico. There, it is commercially available in bottles for euthanizing animals.  Pentobarbital is a controlled substance in the U.S. Some states use it in state-sponsored executions.

According to the Indictment

According to the indictment and a criminal complaint previously filed in the case, Gonzalez-Munguia operated an online drug business to facilitate the sale and distribution of Pentobarbital to individuals in the U.S. and throughout the world who were contemplating suicide.  During the investigation, law enforcement located numerous mail parcels that appeared to have been shipped out of Mexico by Gonzalez-Munguia. 

Authorities in the U.S. and several foreign countries conducted well-being checks and recovered pentobarbital from numerous individuals who admitted to being despondent and ordering the suicide drug online via email addresses operated by Gonzalez-Munguia, the charges allege. 

Law enforcement offered assistance to these individuals.  In other instances, individuals who purchased Pentobarbital via the email addresses died. This included individuals in Illinois and several other states and countries, the charges allege.

We remind the public that an indictment is not evidence of guilt.  The defendant is presumed innocent and entitled to a fair trial. The government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Gonzalez-Munguia complaint

Gonzalez-Munguia superseding indictment

This is a release from the United States Department of Justice.