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District Attorney

Posted on: August 5, 2019

Deadly 'Fake' Prescription Pills Seen Across U.S. are Pure Fentanyl

M30 DEA

Fake prescriptions pills – which are actually pressed fentanyl tablets – recently caused four overdose deaths in a day in California.

The pills have also made their way to other parts of the country, including Lancaster County.

The pure fentanyl pills appear to be prescription medications – commonly, Oxycodone or Percocet.

The blue circular pills stamped “M 30” were responsible for at least four deaths over a recent 24-hour period in San Diego County, Calif., according to the sheriff’s office there.

Law enforcement there said a single pill could have been deadly to the consumer.

Similar pills have turned up in Lancaster County, starting more than a year ago, officials warn.

Felony charges were filed in May regarding a sale of the pills that caused a Warwick Township man’s death. At least one other pending death investigation involved a pill(s) that was pressed fentanyl.

Local officials say the pills are not common and there has not been a recent spike here; rather, the pills have been found in isolated incidents and locations over the past year or so.

The pills, also called “blues,” sell for about $30.

In the local case that resulted in charges, the pills looked similar to Percocet tablets; the charged supplier knew the pills contained pure fentanyl, police learned.

Along with the recent California incidents, the pills have turned up in notable cases in Arizona, New York and Indianapolis, according to previous reports from law enforcement.

The DEA has warned that some of the counterfeit pills contain carfentanil, a similarly-structured substance to fentanyl only much stronger.

(Photo courtesy of DEA.)

MEDIA CONTACT: Brett A. Hambright, 717-295-2041; bhambright@co.lancaster.pa.us; Twitter: @BrettHambright

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