A public safety alert is being sent out by the DEA warning Americans of an unprecedented surge of fake pills that are being smuggled across the border. These pills, according to DEA PIO Carlos Briano, are being made to look exactly like everyday prescription pills, i.e. Percocet, Adderall and Oxycodone, but are laced with the highly deadly drug, Fentanyl.
“There are so many counterfeit pills. The cartels are making them to seem like they are legitimate prescription pills, but they’re not. Instead of an active ingredient they are making it with Fentanyl.”
Briano said that Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than Heroin, and two out of every five pills contain a deadly does of the drug, which is a mere 2 milligrams.
“So that means that if five people were in this room and we all popped what we though was a Percocet two of us would die?”
“Are you familiar with the game of Russian Roulette?” Briano asked, “That’s a one in six. You have better odds of surviving Russian Roulette than popping some of these counterfeit pills because you have a two in five chance of dying. with Russian Roulette you have a one in six chance of dying.”
According to the DEA, there has been a 524% increase in the amount of Fentanyl seized at the Southern border over the last few years. In fact, more than 9.5 million pills were seized this year alone. And in the 12 month period ending in January 2021, 279 Kilograms of Fentanyl was seized which is enough, he said, to potentially kill 139 million people.
Briano told KTSM that the reason cartels are making the fake pills and smuggling them across the border in unprecedented amounts, is because the demand in the United States is high, and the cost of making the Fentanyl laced pills is low.
“It’s profitable for them, with as little as $5,000 they can make up to $1.5 million dollars. With one Kilo of Fentanyl that they can make using precursor chemicals imported from China they can make millions of pills.”
But the amount of Fentanyl added to each pill is not consistent because the pills are not being made in legitimate laboratories, instead, they are being manufactured in clandestine labs in Mexico.
“The drug trafficking organizations, some of them are international. Once they have the precursor chemicals from China, ” Briano said “The Mexican mega labs which are clandestine labs, make the Fentanyl and start pressing it into pills that are meant to look like Valium. Adderall, Percocet you name it.”
Briano said that unsuspecting people here in the United States then go on social media, the dark web or the streets and think they are buying Hydrocodone or another legitimate prescription Opioid pill, but they are actually buying a potentially lethal pill laced with Fentanyl.
“They don’t even know fentanyl is in the pill, it’s high school kids who are experimenting, it’s college kids who are trying to stay up so they take an Adderall, its 30-year-olds, 40-year-olds, housewives, soldiers. Its senior citizens who were impacted by the pandemic and isolated so they turned to drugs.”
And those drugs, according to Briano are much more dangerous than they used to be.
“In my generation you could experiment with drugs and have a bad day or end up in the hospital.
But now in this generation you experiment with drugs and you can get killed.”