In a television report for NBC Nightly News, Lester Holt and his investigative team were able to find Chinese-made, bulk fentanyl powder for sale on the Internet after searching for “buy fentanyl” online.
When his crew sent an enquiry email to one of the listed sellers, they responded:
We have a very potent fentanyl analogue, very similar in potency to the original.
We ship to USA.
We only accept bitcoin as payment method.
Holt’s findings illustrate just how easy it is for a person with access to online credit to become a drug counterfeiter, as does a recent case in Utah.
In June 2017, Aaron Michael Shamo and friends were indicted for allegedly setting up a large-scale fentanyl pill press operation and making counterfeit oxycodone out of fentanyl powder ordered from China via the Internet and a high-speed pill press. The 500,000 pills they found on site were enough to kill half the population of Salt Lake City.
Learn more about the United States deadly problem with fake pills in Fentanyl 101.