A New Braunfels man, Evan Asher Field, 42, has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for selling non-controlled but dangerous substances through the mail. According to court documents, Field and his codefendant, Michael Dominic Diaz, 31, purchased bulk quantities of various drugs, including synthetic opioids and benzodiazepines, and re-sold them through a website Field created in September 2019.
These substances, most of which originated in China and were not regulated or approved for any use by the FDA, have the potential to cause toxic and fatal overdoses if consumed by humans. Field and Diaz repackaged the drugs into consumer-size containers and shipped them to various locations throughout the United States. The initial website remained online until September 2021 when Diaz launched a second website offering a nearly identical service.
Despite disclaimers on the website and product packaging stating "for research purposes only" and "not for human consumption," the two defendants were aware that customers were purchasing the substances for personal use and consuming the drugs. Multiple consumers suffered overdoses, including some that were fatal.
In addition to his prison sentence, Field was ordered to pay a $250,000 fine. Codefendant Diaz is scheduled to be sentenced on November 21.
U.S. Attorney Jaime Esparza for the Western District of Texas stated, "The defendants in this case recklessly endangered the lives and well-being of the numerous individuals who purchased unregulated substances from them. We hope that this sentence brings attention to this type of conduct and serves as a warning to those who would engage in it."
Special Agent in Charge George A. Scavdis of the FDA Office of Criminal Investigations Metro Washington Field Office added, "Unapproved prescription drugs can present a serious health risk to those who buy and use them. The drugs can contain unknown ingredients and can be made under unknown conditions. We will continue to investigate and bring to justice those who traffic in unapproved and potentially dangerous drugs."
Special Agent in Charge Daniel Comeaux for the Drug Enforcement Administration's Houston Field Office emphasized, "Synthetic drugs remain the primary driver of the opioid epidemic, and attempting to profit off the epidemic plaguing our communities is an apparent complete disregard for human life."
The investigation into this case was carried out jointly by the FDA and DEA.