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

once a Hamden male texted his dealer for 4 30-milligram oxycodone in March, he may not have actually known what that was in reality buying.

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the wasn"t till after the 30-year-old man passed away that it was found those pills were dangerous counterfeits.

an autopsy revealed the victim, not established by authorities, overdosed top top drugs including fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid 50 to 100 times stronger 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 suspected dealer, Agustin Cirino, for selling these counterfeit pills — one of the very first cases of its kind in Connecticut, officials said.

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Though situations like this aren"t yet typical in Connecticut, the U.S. Medicine Enforcement administration released a report the counterfeit pills disguising fentanyl, an ext powerful and also cheaper to produce, has become one more growing threat in the fatal opioid epidemic.

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

"As is typical, it worked its means to the eastern Coast, whereby we have actually a strong opioid epidemic," Desmond said.

after Hamden police were referred to as to the untimely fatality the morning of march 9, lock soon discovered three blue pills marked "M 30," in addition to a cut orange straw in the home, a criminal complaint charging Cirino said.

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they learned the the victim had collection up with Cirino come buy four oxycodone at a price the $120, equivalent the usual street value for the usual prescription opioid: about $1 a milligram, the documents show. Message messages ongoing until not long after the purchase. The next morning, his mother discovered him lifeless in his bedroom.

commonwealth investigators collected the three continuing to be pills indigenous Hamden police. An web search by a task pressure agent rotate up the the markings ~ above the pills would recognize them together oxycodone created by Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, yet he sent out them come a DEA lab for testing.

Results received in April verified the pills were made of fentanyl, acetaminophen and also dipryone. The task pressure agent would write in his report: "The pills did not contain oxycodone."

among those to have seen first-hand the lethal influence of fentanyl is Dr. Gail D"Onofrio, cook of emergency medicine at Yale-New Haven Hospital. Despite reports that these species of cases are rare in the new Haven area, D"Onofrio acknowledges fentanyl can be made right into a counterfeit pill, a danger proposition because that a drug user.

"Unfortunately, because they are so much much more powerful 보다 oxycodone, the user doesn"t know that and they take them and also can overdose," she said.

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

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

critical July, the DEA exit the report on this brand-new lethal trend in drug trafficking seen months later in the overdose in Hamden.

"The medicine trafficking establishments will take the powders and press ... And they will produce them to exactly mimic an oxycodone," Desmond said. "It could be mimicking any prescription drug even the color and also the stamp."

D"Onofrio said with this trend "we aren"t also going to check out these people. They space going to take the pill and die."


The report highlighted the agents in the brand-new England office had actually turned up countless these 30-milligram counterfeits from 2014 to 2015. Similar reports the seizures have actually cropped up in Tennessee and brand-new Jersey. In Los Angeles, federal authorities to speak they raided a counterfeit pill operation with presses and other important materials to develop the fakes.

regardless of the DEA"s warning about the pervasiveness of these pills, state police, which teams up with police departments across Connecticut through a statewide narcotics job force, has yet to have actually reports the counterfeits, a department spokeswoman said.

this pills, commonwealth authorities contend, have the right to make medicine traffickers a sustainable lot of money for a tiny investment particularly if they use fentanyl.

The organizations have the right to buy a kilogram the the drug from China for as little as several thousand dollars. Because that as lot as $995, traffickers gain an oxycodone press and turn that fentanyl into thousands of thousands of pills that would later sell because that totals in the millions of dollars, the DEA outlined in the report.

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offered the demand and the profit potential, the DEA warned the they just saw this problem cultivation in the "near term."

"Overdoses and deaths indigenous counterfeit medicine containing fentanyls will increase as users proceed to inaccurately sheep themselves through imitation medications," the DEA wrote.


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