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The BBC told about the American, who is a year in the Russian jail. He bought a cleaner on the Internet

In household chemistry they found a substance banned in Russia, recognized as a psychotropic substance.

Geylen Grandstaff. Photo by Anna Grandstaff / BBC

The edition of the BBC told about the teacher of English in Russia Geylen Grandstaff, who faces up to 20 years of colony for buying a cleaner through the Internet. Russian customs found in household chemicals a substance that is recognized in the country as psychotropic and prohibited to free distribution. Gradstaff has been waiting for more than a year for the court’s decision in the SIZO.

In the evening of July 19, 2017, Grandstaff and his wife Anna were at home in the north of Moscow, when a courier from the EMS service brought them a parcel from an online store. In June, a man ordered peptides there for cell regeneration and a metal cleaner.

Instead of the order in the box, the couple found two bottles of mineral water “Senezhskaya” and the magazine “Customs”. Later it turned out that the courier was not real – they were a disguised customs officer who participated in the “controlled delivery” operation.

A few minutes later eight people came to the Grandstaff: customs officers, several witnesses, an interpreter and a lawyer. After midnight, the investigator appeared with a decision to initiate criminal proceedings.

Grandstaff was accused of smuggling narcotic drugs on a large scale (part 3 of Article 229.1 of the Criminal Code). In the cleaning agent purchased through the Internet, gamma-butyrolactone was added to the list of drugs banned on the territory of Russia. It can be used as a psychotropic substance.

We were shown pictures of some bottles. We said that we did not order it. “What did you order,” they asked us? We opened a computer, printed out their order and explained what and for what purpose. And it was clear that their mood had fallen.

Anna Grandstaff
spouse Gailen, accused of drug trafficking

How Grandstaff found himself in Russia

Grandstaff was born in the USA and worked as a fireman for a long time. In 1994 he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease – a chronic inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract. For several years he was treated with hormones until he found a study, where it was said that the use of peptides allows prolonging remission and alleviating the symptoms of the disease. After that, he began to regularly order and take peptides for cell regeneration.

After a trauma to the spine, a titanium plate was placed on the Grandstaff, which caused him to stop working as a fireman and began teaching. In 2007, he met a native of Voronezh, Anna, who lived and worked in South Carolina. Five years after the marriage, the couple moved to Moscow, where she began teaching English. In Russia, Grandstaff continued to take peptides, ordering them through foreign online stores, since in Moscow they cost much more. In addition, he never learned Russian, so he had to use the Internet.

Why did he need a cleanser

When Grandstaff once again ordered the medication in the summer of 2017, the site offered him to buy a waterless cleaning agent for metal at the same time. Grandstaff recalled that he used the same means in the United States. He used it to clean metal on custom-made motorcycles, which he collected as a hobby.

In Russia, Grandstaff wanted to use the means to clean the rustic apparatus he had constructed from rust. Spouse Grandstaff said that the device the man assembled in order not to drink shop alcohol – because of bowel disease, he hardly tolerated production additives.

What is gamma-butyrolactone

This is an organic compound of the class of esters that can really dissolve varnishes and paints. In addition, the substance has psychotropic properties. It was freely sold in most countries until the 1990s, but then in the United States and other countries began to impose restrictions. In Russia, gamma-butyrolactone was banned in 2012.

Position of Prosecution

The medical examination did not reveal any dependencies in Grandstaff, he had not previously taken psychotropic substances and was generally uncomfortable with the use of drugs, witnessed by the conclusions and testimony of witnesses. Anna’s wife noted that the man’s hobby is cooking and growing violets.

Grandstaff and his wife Anna in court

According to the prosecution, Grandstaff ordered gamma-butyrolactone not for the narcotic effect, but “for further use in sports”. That is, to build muscle. It is believed that the substance increases the level of growth hormone, so before it was sold as a supplement for athletes, the BBC reports.

Vnukovo customs officers conducted an operative-search activity and concluded that Grandstaff was engaged in fitness in the US and continued to do so in Russia and could be interested in building muscle. Experts, whose testimony is given in the indictment, assured that he could also use peptides not for treatment, but for sports.

Head of the Department of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases at the Clinical Research and Practice Center named after Loginov Kniazev OV, who studied the analyzes of Grandstaff, confirmed that he actually had Crohn’s disease. However, in his testimony Knyazev specified that peptides are not a medicinal product for the treatment of the disease and “are essentially biologically active additives”, and injections into the stomach are “not valid” for treatment.

The investigation also found out that the Grandstaff’s spouses were attending a fitness club, but they were doing sports without a coach. “Judging by the photographs, GR Grandstaff. often visits the gym, has a very developed musculature and a large muscle mass, “says the indictment.

Anna Grandstaff argues that her husband can not be a powerlifter, since he has a plate in his neck and this excludes increased loads. In addition, she believes that the findings about the appearance of her husband made by a photo 30 years ago.

The investigation is sure: Geilen knew very well what he was ordering, and invented the story with a cleaning agent in advance. The version that Geilen used to use a cleaner for motorcycles, the investigation also calls dubious. “The position […] is not confirmed by anything, except for photographs of unknown origin and belonging with a picture of the work that could have been performed by anyone,” the conclusion of the investigation emphasizes.


Year in jail and US actions

Grandstaff expects a court decision in the remand center for more than a year. The judge forbade him to see his wife and telephone calls, because Anna is on trial as a witness. The only way to communicate were letters. A man writes to his wife and tells about his life in pictures.

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