HARRISONBURG, Va. – A pair of Winchester, Virginia men, pleaded guilty this week to possessing and distributing Eutylone, a Schedule I controlled substance primarily used for its psychoactive, stimulant effects.
Eutylone emerged on the United States’ illicit drug market in 2014, reports of its abuse have sharply increased since 2018. The Drug Enforcement Administration reports that Eutylone is being falsely marketed by drug dealers as MDMA (“Ecstasy” or “Molly”) and has been distributed under the street names of “Red Bull” and “Blue Playboy,” among others.
Beginning in January 2020, the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force conducted multiple controlled drug buys from Gregory McKinley Frye, 54, and his nephew, Lamont Antoine Parson, 39. On February 6, 2020, law enforcement obtained and executed a search warrant at the Winchester, Virginia apartment occupied by Frye and Parson and recovered over three kilograms of Eutylone, a 9mm pistol, and a digital scale.
“Eutylone is especially risky to users because it looks nearly identical to other drugs like Ecstasy or Molly but produces a weaker effect, tempting people to take more, and leading to severe adverse effects such as tremors, seizures, or even death,” United States Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh said today. “The prosecution of these defendants serves to make Winchester a safer community by educating its citizens of the presence of this dangerous drug in their town.”
Frye pleaded guilty to one count of possessing with the intent to distribute Eutylone and two counts of distribution of Eutylone. He is scheduled to be sentenced on March 31, 2022 and faces up to 20 years in prison. Parson pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with the intent to distribute Eutylone and one count of possessing with the intent to distribute Eutylone. He is scheduled to be sentenced on April 5, 2022 and faces up to 20 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.
The Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Northwest Virginia Regional Drug and Gang Task Force (comprised of the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office, the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, the Page County Sheriff’s Office, the Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office, the Luray Police Department, the Front Royal Police Department, the Strasburg Police Department, the Winchester Police Department, and the Virginia State Police) investigated the case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Ronald M. Huber is prosecuting the case.