Federal authorities arrested 30-year-old Michael S. Schoenmann in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, for selling fentanyl nasal spray on the darknet. According to documents filed at the U.S. District Court in Madison, Schoenmann’s fentanyl spray led to the overdose of a 25-year-old in Port Charlotte, Florida. The case began with the deceased’s fiancee.
The Florida man fatally overdosed not even 25 minutes after he had received a package of nasal spray in the mail, his fiancee told Postal Inspector Ross Hinckley. The man told his fiancee the nasal spray was helping issues associated with mold he had been exposed to at his place of employment. She apparently believed what he had said. The nasal spray label read “Alpha Prescription Strength Nasal Cleaner and Decongestant.”
A Florida Department of Law Enforcement analysis revealed that the spray contained a fentanyl analogue. Investigators from Charlotte County, Florida, found the package used to mail the spray. They first contacted law enforcement in the county listed on the return address. The business located at the address, however, never existed. The investigators then reached out to the U.S. Postal Inspectors for assistance.
The Postal Inspection Service analyzed the shipping label on the package and found that several similar packages had been shipped from postal boxes in the Dodgeville area. (They did not explain this procedure.) They used the label to look up the tracking number on the package and found additional packages that fit the profile of suspected fentanyl packages. They immediately looked up the I.P. addresses that accessed tracking information for the suspected packages and identified an I.P. address that belonged to Schoenmann’s home internet.
While investigating Schoenmann, the Postal Inspectors intercepted a package shipped to a recipient in Wisconsin. The package contained the same “Alpha Prescription Strength Nasal Cleaner and Decongestant” that the Florida man had used before he overdosed. Authorities met with the purchaser of the fentanyl spray and questioned him about his darknet use. The buyer showed authorities the darknet vendor who sold the nasal spray.
Postal Inspector Kyle Rau created an account on the unspecified darknet market and confused an undercover nasal spray purchase. Other officers maintained surveillance at Schoenmann’s home. At some point during the week, the 30-year-old left his home with a package. Authorities tailed him to the bank and then to the Post Office. He dropped the package off at a drop box and then left.
The police accessed the package after obtaining a search warrant allowing them to open the package. It contained a spray bottle that matched the one found in Florida and one in the package intercepted in Wisconsin. Armed with this evidence, Wisconsin authorities executed a search warrant at Schoenmann’s home. They found white powder, spray bottles, and “Alpha Prescription Strength Nasal Cleaner and Decongestant” labels. They arrested the man and charged him with possession of fentanyl with intent to deliver.