WASHINGTON -- A chemist for DuPont Co. charged with making and selling a 'designer drug' 1,000 times more powerful than heroin boasted he could make 'unlimited amounts' of the substance, an affidavit released Wednesday said.
Michael Hovey, who worked at DuPont's Experimental Station in Wilmington, Del., was arrested Sunday near Delaware's boundary with Pennsylvania as he tried to pick up $260,000 in fake bills left by federal agents. He is being held without bail.
The agents had given Hovey $40,000 as a down payment Dec. 1. Hovey in turn left in a hole an ounce of the drug, 3-methyl-fentanyl, a synthetic 'designer drug' 1,000 times more powerful than heroin.
Synthetic heroin has been blamed for about 100 deaths on the West Coast.
The affidavit by agent William Glanz of the Drug Enforcement Agency said the street price of one ounce of the drug is $28 million.
The affidavit said Hovey -- arrested two days before his 33rd birthday -- sent a letter to another DuPont chemist in October offering to pay '$10,000 or more' if the chemist could put Hovey in contact with a drug dealer.
The letter gave specific instructions to the chemist to locate a drug dealer and for the dealer to communicate the Hovey through classified ads in the Wilmington (Del.) News Journal, the affidavit said.
The chemist gave the letter to DuPont security, which turned it over to the DEA. Glanz placed two classifed ads and an 'anonymous chemist' then called DEA agent William Bouldin to set up the deal, the affidavit said.
Hovey allegedly asked for $1 million -- $100,000 in cash and the balance in gold coins, because, he said in a later letter, gold is untraceable 'and will remain legal tender long after our government collapses.'
Attached to the affidavit are two lengthy, detailed letters Hovey allegedly wrote providing instructions to the 'dealer' on where to leave the money and where the synthetic drugs could be picked up.
The last letter Hovey allegedly wrote to the undercover agent boasted that he had nearly complete access to the materials needed to manufacture the drugs.
'I can make an unlimited supply of the fentanyls available, despite the slow, lengthy preparation,' the letter said.
'These dealings are going make us very rich,' the letter said. 'I'm sure we'll have no trouble being completely straight with each other in all these transactions. Happy holidays to you and yours.'