Authorities seize historic amount of fake pills containing fentanyl in Metro Atlanta

Drug enforcement officers are stepping up efforts to remove fake pills containing fentanyl from the streets of the metro Atlanta area.

In one day, I grabbed over 9,000 pills containing fentanyl and 2 kilograms of pure fentanyl in the Atlanta area last week.

It was part of a two-month crackdown on the deadly drugs. The DEA special agent in charge of the Atlanta division says counterfeit pills have become harder to spot.

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“The Mexican cartels have become so good at producing these pills that it’s almost impossible to tell the difference between a real one and a fake,” said Rob Murphy, DEA special agent.

DEA Special Agent Rob Murphy says counterfeit pills containing fentanyl have become harder to spot.

Murphy said much of fentanyl is produced in China, shipped to Mexico, and smuggled across the border and into communities across the country.

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DeAnne Turner’s brother, Gerald Gilbert, was just 28 when he took a pill earlier this year that he believed to be the prescription pain reliever Xanax.

“It turned out to be fentanyl,” Turner said. “He had such a good heart.

She said her brother collapsed in the middle of the family home in County Paulding moments after eating the pill.

Despite his father’s best efforts, Gilbert passed away.

Gerald Gilbert

DeAnne Turner’s brother, Gerald Gilbert, was just 28 when he took a pill earlier this year that he believed to be the prescription pain reliever Xanax. It turned out to be fentanyl. (FOX 5 Atlanta)

“If her story saves a life, it’s worth it,” Turner said. “Friday is his birthday. He would be 29 years old.”

Special Agent Murphy says the cartels are squeezing fentanyl into pills to make it look like the prescription pain relievers people use to get high, using industrial pill presses. He said that sometimes his agents are not even able to tell them apart.

Ultimately, Murphy said money was the motive.

“They ship it across our borders, they know it’s made from fentanyl, but the profit potential is so high for them the cost is so low,” he said.

For the first time in six years, the Drug Enforcement Administration last week issued a public safety alert to Americans to shed light on the threat of what authorities are calling a “nationwide significant increase” in pills. counterfeits that are “killing unsuspecting Americans at an unprecedented rate.” rate.”

“Illicit fentanyl was responsible for almost three-quarters of the more than 93,000 fatal drug overdoses in the United States in 2020,” said Monaco’s deputy attorney general.

More than 9.5 million counterfeit pills have been seized so far in 2021, according to a number of officials, this is more than all of 2019 and 2020 combined. Tests in the DEA labs have found an increase in the number of pills containing at least 2 milligrams of fentanyl, which is fatal.

According to officials, the pills are manufactured illegally by criminal drug rings and designed to look like prescription opioid drugs, including oxycodone, hydrocodone, etc. The pills are typically sold online on social media platforms.

“The United States is facing an unprecedented crisis of overdose deaths fueled by illegally manufactured fentanyl and methamphetamine,” said Anne Milgram, administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration. “Counterfeit pills that contain these dangerous and extremely addictive drugs are deadlier and more accessible than ever. In fact, DEA lab tests show that two out of five fake pills containing fentanyl contain a potentially fatal dose. The DEA focuses its resources on taking on the violent drug traffickers causing the most harm and posing the greatest threat to the safety and health of Americans. Today, we are alerting the public to this danger so that people have the information they need to protect themselves and their children.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 93,000 people died of drug overdoses in the United States in 2020. Authorities say the main cause of the increase in deaths is fentanyl.

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