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Tag: fentanyl

DEA Discovered 30,000 Counterfeit Pills Laced with Deadly Fentanyl

About 30,000 pills laced with fentanyl were discovered by the DEA. Photo via DEA.

About 30,000 pills laced with fentanyl were discovered by the DEA. Photo via DEA.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA and Tempe Police Department seized about 30,000 counterfeit pills containing the powerful and deadly opioid fentanyl.

Local and federal authorities said the pills, discovered Sunday during a traffic stop, are tied to Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel, Tucson News Now reports. 

“This massive seizure removed thousands of potentially lethal doses of this powerful narcotic off the streets,” said Doug Coleman, Special Agent in Charge of DEA in Arizona. “DEA will never relent in its pursuit of Mexican cartels who manufacture huge quantities of fake oxycodone pills using fentanyl.”

Fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid that is much more powerful than heroin, is to blame for thousands of deaths a year.

The counterfeit pills were made to look like oxycodone.

Authorities said Mexican cartels are lacing pills with fentanyl, which is cheaper and easier to produce.

Other Stories of Interest

DEA Raid in California Nets Enough Fentanyl to Kill All of Illinois

Synthetic opioid tablets

Synthetic opioid tablets

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA, following a long-term investigation, seized a record-breaking amount of fentanyl and secured enough evidence for a federal indictment against three alleged traffickers in San Diego.

Those charged with possession of 44.1 kilograms of the deadly synthetic opiate are Jonathan Ibarra, 45, Hector Fernando Garcia, 46, and Anna Baker, 30, according to the Times of San Diego.  They face up to life in prison and $10 million in fines.

The nearly 100 pounds of fentanyl is enough to kill the entire state of Illinois, Courthouse News reports

Fentanyl is one of the leading causes of opioid deaths in the U.S. because it is up to 100 times more potent than heroin. A dose as small as 3 milligrams could kill 9,475 people.

Other Stories of Interest

DEA: 30+ People Died in County in Arizona from Counterfeit Painkillers

Synthetic opioid tablets

Synthetic opioid tablets laced with fentanyl.

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA said more than 30 people died in Maricopa County in Arizona from counterfeit oxycodone pill laced with fentanyl.

The county confirmed 32 deaths from black-market pill between March 2015 to February 2017, the Arizona Republic reports

The DEA said the counterfeit pills were manufactured in Mexico and smuggled into the U.S.

“What we have is a rapidly expanding opioid-based drug addiction in the country, and we have Mexican drug cartels adjusting to push dangerous drugs on streets,” said Doug Coleman, special agent in charge of the DEA in Arizona. “…They think they’re taking oxy, but they’re actually taking fentanyl, and it’s lights out.”

Other Stories of Interest

DEA’s War on Synthetic Opioids Targets Cousin of Deadly Fentanyl

Synthetic opioid tablets

Synthetic opioid tablets

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA is waging a war against a deadly cousin of the synthetic opioid fentanyl to curb abuse and overdoses.

The move to ban furanyl fentanyl is part of a larger fight against synthetic opioids, which are becoming increasingly available, the Wall Street Journal reports. 

The synthetic opioids are often sold over the internet by labs in China.

Already this year, the DEA has characterized five synthetic opioids as “Schedule I,” which means they have no medical purpose and can lead to abuse.

The Journal wrote:

Furanyl fentanyl, a relative newcomer, didn’t appear in a national database that tracks drug seizures until December 2015, according to the DEA. It has quickly emerged as a serious killer among designer opioids. NMS Labs, a major private lab that works with states around the U.S., has tallied 325 deaths linked to furanyl fentanyl this year through October.

The legal form of fentanyl is a strong, up to 50 times the potency of heroin, pain reliever that often is used to help cancer patients manage serious pain. But bootleg versions of fentanyl, often made in China and then mixed into the heroin supply or included in counterfeit prescription pills have amplified the U.S. opioid crisis.

Other Stories of Interest

Federal Agents Seize Tens of Thousands of Fentanyl Pills In Huge Drug Bust in Utah

pillsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

It’s being billed as one of the largest drug busts in Utah history.

Federal agents seized tens of thousands of synthetic opioids – or fentanyl pills – and cash Tuesday at a home in Utah where a “pill press” was found, the Washington Post reports. 

The pills were falsely labeled as Xanax or oxycodone and shipped across the U.S.

The DEA, National Guard and IRS were involved in the raid at a home in the city of Cottonwood Heights in Salt Lake County.

“A very small amount ingested, or absorbed through your skin, can kill you,” warned Acting DEA Deputy Administrator Jack Riley in June.

Aaron Michael Shamo, 26, was charged with possession of fentanyl with intent to distribute.

Other Stories of Interest

DEA Travels to China to Crack Down on Fentanyl That’s Added to Heroin

Fentanyl tablets

Fentanyl tablets

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Fentanyl has been used as a powerful additive to heroin, and its use has been killing Americans.

Now the DEA is in China to help the government crack down on the manufacture of fentanyl, Chicago Sun Times reports.

While Mexico is the biggest heroin supplier, China is the leading supplier of fentanyl that is added to heroin to increase it strength, said Dennis Wichern, the special agent in charge of the DEA in Chicago and a five-state region.

“In the last three years we’ve seen an explosion of fentanyl,” Wichern said. “In Chicago, heroin- and fentanyl-related investigations have been priority No. 1.”

The DEA said the Chinese government is cooperating with U.S. drug agents.

“They recognize they have a problem with the synthetic drug explosion, as I call it,” Wichern said.

“The Chinese are all aboard. They’ve outlawed it. We’re working with them,” Wichern said. “We have agents on the ground every day in Beijing and Hong Kong working with the Chinese to stop this.”

Other Stories of Interest

DEA Warns of Pills Laced with Deadly Opioid in American Market

pillsBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The DEA is bracing for overdoses after warning that hundreds of thousands of counterfeit prescription pills are laced with a potentially deadly synthetic opioid.

The DEA said the drugs, which look like legitimate painkillers, have infiltrated the U.S. drug market, the Guardian reports. 

The pills contain fentanyl, which is 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine.

The DEA warned that only a small amount can kill.

“It’s a huge concern. People don’t know what they are getting,” said the DEA spokesman Melvin Patterson, citing an uptick in accidental overdoses by unwitting users.

Other Stories of Interest

DEA: Police May Die from Handling Fentanyl Because It’s So Powerful

Fentanyl tablets

Fentanyl tablets

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Fentanyl, the painkiller that killed Prince and is responsible for hundreds of over deaths in recent years, also poses a significant danger to law enforcement, the DEA warned.

The DEA unveiled a new public service announcement that warns officers of the dangers of fentanyl if they encounter it, The Washington Times reports. 

The video features two New Jersey police officers who accidentally inhaled fentanyl while trying to seal a plastic bag.

“A bunch of it poofed up into the air, right in our face, and we ended up inhaling it,” said one of the detectives.

“I felt like my body was shutting down,” said the other detective, describing effects of the drug that made him feel like he was dying.

The DEA reports that more than 700 people have died due to fentanyl use between 2013 and 2014.