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When Drugs Are Fake, the Charges Are Real

When Drugs Are Fake, the Charges Are Real

Counterfeit pain pills are causing overdose deaths for unsuspecting victims and criminal charges for perpetrators who sell or distribute illegal drugs.

Fake Opioids that Kill

Public safety officials in Minnesota are warning people about fake pills that cause overdose deaths. Criminals are marketing counterfeit opioid pain pills that are manufactured with dangerous levels of fentanyl. These fake pills, disguised as oxycodone, are turning up in Minnesota and are linked to the death of a Mankato man.

According to the Minnesota River Valley Drug Task Force, fentanyl is cheap to make. People can easily manufacture the counterfeit oxycodone pills and then sell them to buyers on the black market, on the street, or online for $25 to $35 per pill. The fake pills are believed to have originated in Mexico. They are designed to look like the real thing. They have identical markings to prescription opioids, so buyers think they are purchasing oxycodone pain pills. Fentanyl is a powerful synthetic drug that’s 10 times more potent than heroin. It can be ingested in pill or powder form, and just one experience can cause an overdose death. Fentanyl is so lethal, police officers who check suspects for drugs must wear protective clothing, so the drug is not absorbed through their skin.

Recently, a Minnesota man was arrested and charged for purchasing online counterfeit oxycodone pills laced with cocaine and carfentanil, a synthetic drug that’s 10,000 times stronger than morphine. Within two days of distributing the pills, there were three overdose deaths. Minnesota police were alerted about the pills from anonymous tips that led them to two young perpetrators. Upon a residence search of one of the perpetrators, 46 counterfeit blue pills marked as oxycodone were found by police. The 22-year-old perpetrator faces multiple drug charges. The 21-year-old pleaded guilty to a charge of fourth-degree drug possession with the intent to sell. He received three years probation in lieu of jail time.

In Minnesota, law enforcement officials are cracking down on drug crimes including drug trafficking, drug possession, and drug sales and distribution of all illegal substances. Drug crimes in Minnesota carry harsh penalties including fines from $10,000 to $1 million and prison time from 5 years to 30 years. If arrested for a drug crime, a person will require a drug attorney for proper defense.

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