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Wed. 10:45 a.m.: Boardman man sentenced to prison in drug case

Rodney Self, 45, of Boardman was sentenced to two years in federal prison Tuesday after being convicted in Clevelandás federal court of two drug charges involving 1.5 pounds of fentanyl being mailed to his home.

According to Self’s indictment, federal agents identified a suspicious parcel in the U.S. mail Oct. 20, 2020, addressed to a Youngstown address with a return address in California.

Officials intercepted it at the Cleveland Processing and Distribution Center. California is “a source state for controlled substances,” the affidavit states.

On Oct. 20, 2020, the parcel was placed in a “lineup” of similar parcels, and Ciga, a narcotics detection dog handled by the Cuyahoga County Sheriffás Department, gave a positive alert on the parcel but not on any of the other parcels, the affidavit states.

Based on that evidence, a federal official obtained a warrant from a magistrate in the Northern District of Ohio and found a white block-like substance inside the package. It was determined to be acetyl fentanyl and the package was seized.

That same day, a Homeland Security official conducted surveillance on the address in Boardman where the package was intended to be delivered. It was Self’s address.

On Oct. 19, Boardman police had received a complaint from a neighbor of âin and out traffic at the residence,ã which can be an indicator of drug trafficking, the affidavit states.

Federal investigators also reviewed an Oct. 17, 2020, Youngstown police report indicating that Self was a passenger in a vehicle that was traffic stopped and being driven by a co-conspirator who was arrested for drug trafficking during the stop.

Federal officials and members of the Mahoning Valley Drug Task Force removed the fentanyl from the package and delivered the package to Self’s home Oct. 21, 2020, leaving it on the porch. Self was later seen retrieving the package and driving away from the home.

Self’s driving was erratic, so agents used their lights and sirens to stop him. He came to a stop on Judson Avenue, and a female exited the vehicle. Self tried to pull away, but agents ordered him to stop the vehicle, and he did, the affidavit states. Self and the female were taken into custody.

The parcel was located in the vehicle. The woman was arrested on a warrant out of Trumbull County for cocaine possession.

An agent determined that another man had tried to call Self recently. Self later told officials that the other man had told Self to expect a package in the mail, and that Self was supposed to meet him at a fast-food restaurant on Midlothian Boulevard in Youngstown to deliver it to him.

Self was found unconscious with a hypodermic needle in his arm Nov. 3 and was revived with Naloxone, the affidavit states.

erunyan@vindy.com

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