Counterfeit Fentanyl Pills In California

Click here to read PSM's Fentanyl 101.

Since 2012, drug traffickers have been selling North Americans counterfeit medications made from fentanyl, a dangerous painkiller 25-40 times stronger than heroin, and even stronger synthetic opioids like carfentanil. The problem has spread to at least 35 states, and many Americans have suffered overdoses and death because the drugs they were taking were counterfeit.

Read our 2018 information sheet about counterfeit drugs in California.

Coverage About Pills in California:

Three Butte County Residents Indicted for Trafficking in Fentanyl-Laced Pills (January 31, 2019)

Drug Traffickers Caught During Traffic Stop Blabbed About Operation in Jail Cell (January 11, 2019)

Undercover NCIS Agents Buy Thousands of Fentanyl-laced Pills in Operation After Sailor's Death (October 23, 2018)

Arrest Made in La Jolla Man's Fentanyl Overdose Death (October 11, 2018)

Ventura County Sheriff's Investigators Help Take Down International Crime Ring (October 9, 2018)

$1.25 Million Fentanyl Load Seized at Interstate 8 Checkpoint (September 25, 2018)

The Sad Backstory of a North Bay Drug Overdose (September 25, 2018)

'Drug Llama' Accused of Selling 50,000 Fentanyl Pills Over Dark Web Also Linked to Overdose Death of Baby (September 18, 2018)

Long Beach Drug-Ring Leader Who Made Thousands of Opioid Pills Using Illegal Drug From China Is Sentenced to 26 Years (July 10, 2018)

San Diego Dealer Imprisoned for Fentanyl Death of Poway Man (June 1, 2018)

Man Admits Selling Fentanyl That Led to Friend's Overdose Death (May 7, 2018)

Three O.C. Men Face Federal Narcotics Charges that Allege Distribution of Counterfeit Opioid Pills Containing Fentanyl (April 5, 2018)

Fentanyl Pill Dealer Charged in Fatal Overdose Death of Camp Pendleton Marine (March 2, 2018)

Fatal Elephant Tranquilizer Found In Counterfeit Painkiller Pills (October 11, 2017)

Even Deadlier Form Of Fentanyl Reaches San Diego County (October 6, 2017)

Fake Xanax Operator Gets 10-Year Jail Term (February 10, 2017)

Deadly Counterfeit Opioid Pills Fooling Experts, Killing Californians (November 12, 2016)

The Pill Makers Next Door: How America’s Opioid Crisis Is Spreading (October 5, 2016)

Man from Tijuana Accused of Smuggling Almost 6,000 Fentanyl Pills (September 22, 2016)

Fentanyl and Other Synthetic Opioids Sold as Counterfeits in Deadly New Trend (August 26, 2016)

Sacramento’s Deadly Fentanyl Cases Yield First Known Arrest (July 20th, 2016)

3 Arrested, Accused of Manufacturing Fentanyl-Laced Pills out of SF Sunset District (June 13, 2016)

Santa Cruz County Authorities Warn of Lethal Counterfeit Xanax Containing Fentanyl (May 4, 2016)

Counterfeit Prescription Painkillers for Sale in California Result in Emergency Room Visits (April 26, 2016)

'Norco' Fentanyl Overdose Deaths Rise to 14; Problem Spreads to Bay Area (April 26, 2016)

Man Caught Smuggling Fentanyl at California-Mexico Border (April 14, 2016)

Man Caught Smuggling Fentanyl in Underwear at California-Mexico Border. Suspect was Carrying More Than 1,000 Fentanyl Pills (coverage by Maneeza Iqbal at KCRA 3 Sacramento)

Hundreds of Counterfeit Oxycodone Tablets Seized at Port of Entry Contained Ultra-Deadly Fentanyl  (press release, U.S. Department of Justice)

Another Fentanyl-linked Death, Two More Overdoses Reported in Sacramento Region (April 13, 2016)

Alarming' Rate of Overdoses in Sacramento Area (April 5, 2016)

Six Dead in Sacramento Area from Counterfeit Drugs (March 30, 2016)

Other California Coverage