ABC 15 Arizona reported that the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) announced the seizure of 3,500 counterfeit oxycodone made with fentanyl and the arrest of 26-year-old Jesus Madueno during a recent undercover drug operation. A meeting between the undercover officers and Madueno happened on August 30, 2017 and once it became apparent that he was in possession of the pills, police arrested him without incident. Tests on the pills showed that they were counterfeit and contained fentanyl.
KTAR News quoted Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone: “Fentanyl is highly toxic. This action undoubtedly saved lives. Coming into contact with extremely small amounts can kill you. The use of Fentanyl compounds the risks to opioid users and to first responders who make contact with it unknowingly.”
The MSCO is in the process of training deputies on the use of Narcan, a drug that counteracts opioid overdoses, including fentanyl. Sheriff Penzone said, “The opioid epidemic is horrific and when Fentanyl is added to the cocktail it’s even worse. MCSO is committed through enforcement and education to protecting our communities from those who traffic in these substances.”
This is not Arizona’s first brush with fentanyl. Just earlier in the month of August, police in Tempe arrested a person in possession of 30,000 counterfeit pills made with fentanyl. Authorities also attribute the deaths of 32 people over the course of 18 months in the Phoenix-area to counterfeit OxyContin that contained fentanyl.
Police charged Madueno with felony possession of narcotic drugs for sale.