YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A Warren man who court documents said admitted to receiving a kilogram of fentanyl in the mail was sentenced this week in federal court to just over eight years in prison.
Michael Ellens, 43, of Randolph Street NW, was sentenced to eight years in prison Tuesday by U.S. Judge Dan Aaron Polster in the U.S. Northern District Court of Ohio.
Ellens pleaded guilty July 27 to charges of attempted possession with intent to distribute fentanyl analogues, fentanyl and tramadol and possession with intent to distribute cocaine. A bill of information was filed against him July 21.
An affidavit in the case said postal inspectors in April found a suspicious package that was delivered from Fresno, Calif., to the home of a woman on Randolph Street N.W. in Warren.
Investigators searched to see if they could find the people to whom the package was addressed to and from whom it was mailed, and no such person existed, the affidavit said.
The return address was also not on record, the affidavit said.
A drug-sniffing dog detected the odor of drugs from the package, and after investigators got a search warrant and were able to open the package, they found about a kilogram of fentanyl, the affidavit said.
The package was delivered May 3 by federal agents posing as postal inspectors, and a GPS unit was attached. A woman took the package at the Randolph Street N.W. home, and about an hour later, she was seen getting into a car. Agents tracked the car using the GPS to a Briar Street S.E. home, the affidavit said.
Ellens came out of the home and was talking on a phone and directed the woman to a driveway, the affidavit said. Five minutes later, agents were alerted that the package was opened and Ellens was seen putting the package inside an SUV, the affidavit said.
Ellens was questioned by agents and at first said he came to the house to meet women, then when questioned again “claimed ownership of the kilo,” the affidavit said.
The bill of information said that Ellens also had a small amount of cocaine the same day the package was delivered.
The affidavit said Ellens has a previous federal drug trafficking conviction.