Arrests in South Carolina connected to deadly overdose of Portla - KPTV - FOX 12

Arrests in South Carolina connected to deadly overdose of Portland teen

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Theodore Khleborod and Ana Barrero booking photos (Spartanburg Co. Detention) Theodore Khleborod and Ana Barrero booking photos (Spartanburg Co. Detention)
An international drug investigation ended in a raid on South Church Street in Greenville. Federal investigators and the Homeland Security Investigation unit were involved in the bust. (FOX Carolina) An international drug investigation ended in a raid on South Church Street in Greenville. Federal investigators and the Homeland Security Investigation unit were involved in the bust. (FOX Carolina)
PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) -

Investigators say a Portland teenager died after overdosing on a dangerous synthetic drug, and two people on the other side of the country have just been arrested, accused of sending it to her in the mail.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement says it's an international investigation, and investigators from the Portland Police Bureau are in South Carolina now working on the case with local authorities as well as Homeland Security.

The drug at the center of the investigation is fentanyl, also known as Pink, which police say is like heroin but much stronger. The drug was found inside the Portland apartment where the 18-year-old woman was found dead in February.

Investigators say evidence at that scene led them to South Carolina and two drug raids, one at the South Ridge apartments in Greenville and another at a home half an hour away in Greer.

Neighbor Martha Goodlett watched the raid from her house in South Carolina. She said she was amazed at the response from law enforcement.

"Frankly, when I saw it was Homeland Security, I wondered if it was bomb making going on there,” she said. "There must have been 30 vehicles and 50 or so officers out there."

In all, investigators say they found 85 packages of Pink and $30,000. Federal agents arrested Theodore Khleborod and Ana Barrero, who are suspected of sending the drug to Portland through the mail.

Both Khleborod and Barrero face charges of possession with the intent to distribute and distribution of a Schedule I controlled substance, conspiring to possess with intent to distribute, and using the U.S. Mail to facilitate a drug trafficking crime.

They appeared in federal court Thursday morning and may face additional charges linked to the 18-year-old's death. Investigators have not yet named the 18-year-old girl who died, but they hope to release more information about the case next week.

FOX 12 checked with a few other local police agencies about Pink and its prevalence in Oregon, and they said it is definitely here and has been for months.

Pink can be put into tablets, but officers say part of the problem with trying to spot the drug is that it can be crushed into a powder making it even harder to identify.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it gets its name from the pinkish hue of the powder. The DEA says it is a novel synthetic opioid and that its abuse parallels that of heroin and prescription opioids.

Known to chemists as U-47700, Pink is usually imported to the United States, mainly from labs in China.

The drug can be toxic, even in small doses. Because of the spike in popularity and deaths, the DEA classified it as a Schedule I drug back in November.

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