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North Carolina Man Receives Maximum Sentence for Selling Dangerous Chemical for Weight Loss

Top view of turmeric powder and capsules in a small white bowl on dark background, which looks like DNP

The US Department of Justice announced recently that North Carolina resident Barry Clint Wright was sentenced to seven years in federal prison for his role in the online sale of 2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP), a substance abused by bodybuilders and other people for weight-loss purposes. Wright, 38, received the maximum statutory sentence for introducing an unapproved drug into interstate commerce, introducing a misbranded drug into interstate commerce, and introducing an unapproved drug into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud or mislead. 

Court records show that, for nearly three years, Wright operated websites that marketed DNP, which he purchased in bulk and then encapsulated into ingestible pills. Although he did not label the products as DNP or include directions for use along with products, many forums are available online that describe the intended use for DNP and give dosing information. Three of Wright’s consumers died soon after consuming the substance.

DNP use has been linked to multiple deaths and, in April 2015, was the focus of an Interpol global health warning that described the imminent threat of DNP as a “lethal risk for the consumer.” In mid-2018, a UK man was sentenced to seven years in prison for the death of a 21-year-old woman to whom he sold DNP online. Even so, the chemical remains widely available online for human consumption. 

LegitScript continually identifies and monitors websites and merchants that market the chemical for human consumption. We are committed to stopping the sale of DNP marketed for human use and other dangerous chemicals that are abused for weight-loss purposes. We maintain the world’s largest database of dietary supplements, designer drugs, pharmaceuticals, and other products such as DNP that are misbranded as dietary supplements. Members of the public can search a product in our database to see whether it contains dangerous, banned, or problematic ingredients. 

Want to learn more about DNP and other problematic substances? Download LegitScript’s Top 10 Problematic Ingredients guide.

Cover of Problematic Ingredients Guide featuring a bottle of spilled pills