Fentanyl, a an effective synthetic opioid, continues its lethal toll disguised in some instances as legit prescription drugs, public official warn.

when a Hamden male texted his dealer for four 30-milligram oxycodone in March, he might not have known what that was actually buying.

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that wasn"t until after the 30-year-old man died that it was found those pills to be dangerous counterfeits.

one autopsy revealed the victim, not established by authorities, overdosed top top drugs consisting of fentanyl, a an effective synthetic opioid 50 come 100 times more powerful than morphine. Oxycodone to be not one of those drugs, records show.

As part of a continued effort to seek suspected certified dealer behind deadly overdoses, the U.S. Attorney"s office is prosecuting the doubt dealer, Agustin Cirino, for selling these counterfeit pills — among the an initial cases of its type in Connecticut, officials said.

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Though instances like these aren"t yet common in Connecticut, the U.S. Medicine Enforcement management released a report the counterfeit pills disguising fentanyl, more powerful and also cheaper to produce, has actually become one more growing danger in the deadly opioid epidemic.

special Agent Timothy Desmond through the DEA"s new England department said indigenous of this tendency picking up began on the West Coast around a year ago.

"As is typical, it functioned its means to the east Coast, where we have actually a solid opioid epidemic," Desmond said.

after Hamden police were dubbed to the untimely death the morning of march 9, they soon discovered three blue pills marked "M 30," together with a cut orange straw in the home, a criminal complain charging Cirino said.

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they learned that the victim had set up with Cirino to buy 4 oxycodone in ~ a price the $120, matching the usual street worth for the usual prescription opioid: roughly $1 a milligram, the records show. Text messages ongoing until not lengthy after the purchase. The following morning, his mother found him lifeless in his bedroom.

federal investigators collected the three continuing to be pills from Hamden police. An internet search by a task force agent turned up the the markings on the pills would determine them together oxycodone created by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, however he sent out them come a DEA lab for testing.

Results obtained in April showed the pills to be made the fentanyl, acetaminophen and dipryone. The task pressure agent would certainly write in his report: "The pills did not contain oxycodone."

among those to have seen first-hand the lethal affect of fentanyl is Dr. Gail D"Onofrio, chef of emergency medication at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Though reports the these varieties of cases are rarely in the brand-new Haven area, D"Onofrio acknowledges fentanyl have the right to be made right into a counterfeit pill, a dangerous proposition because that a medicine user.

"Unfortunately, since they space so much an ext powerful 보다 oxycodone, the user doesn"t understand that and they take it them and can overdose," she said.

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D"Onofrio stated fentanyl have the right to compound the peril as much as "50 come 100 times" over various other morphine-like drugs.

Officials and experts have actually long said that prescription opioids have actually proven a powerful gateway come addiction. Exploiting this demand, the DEA claims drug traffickers have taken to creating counterfeits with stronger, more dangerous opioids and making vast profits.

critical July, the DEA released the report ~ above this brand-new lethal tendency in drug trafficking watched months later on in the overdose in Hamden.

"The drug trafficking institutions will take it the powders and press ... And also they will develop them to precisely mimic one oxycodone," Desmond said. "It can be mimicking any type of prescription drug even the color and also the stamp."

D"Onofrio said with this tendency "we aren"t also going to view these people. They room going to take the pill and also die."


The report highlighted the agents in the new England office had actually turned up countless these 30-milligram counterfeits native 2014 come 2015. Similar reports of seizures have cropped increase in Tennessee and new Jersey. In Los Angeles, commonwealth authorities to speak they raided a counterfeit pill procedure with presses and also other necessary materials to develop the fakes.

in spite of the DEA"s warning around the prevalence of this pills, state police, which groups up with police departments throughout Connecticut v a statewide narcotics job force, has yet to have actually reports of counterfeits, a department spokeswoman said.

this pills, federal authorities contend, can make drug traffickers a sustainable quantity of money because that a tiny investment especially if they use fentanyl.

The organizations deserve to buy a kilogram of the drug from China for as small as numerous thousand dollars. Because that as lot as $995, traffickers get an oxycodone press and turn the fentanyl into numerous thousands the pills the would later on sell because that totals in the countless dollars, the DEA outlined in the report.

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offered the demand and also the profit potential, the DEA warned the they only saw this problem growing in the "near term."

"Overdoses and deaths indigenous counterfeit drugs containing fentanyls will increase as users continue to inaccurately dose themselves v imitation medications," the DEA wrote.


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