Image of counterfeit Percocet courtesy of Georgia Bureau of Invesitgation.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation issued a public safety alert on February 11, 2018 about the high volume of counterfeit pills made with fentanyl and other illicit opioids that have been found in Metro Atlanta. According to the reporting from WSB-TV, since January 2015, there have been 450 reports of counterfeit pills. The most commonly counterfeited pills were Xanax and oxycodone that contained substances such as fentanyl, furanyl fentanyl, and U-47700.

In related news, Patch Georgia reports that a Peachtree Corners man has been convicted of making and selling counterfeit oxycodone pills made with furanyl fentanyl and U-47700. Christopher Ramone West was found guilty on several drug trafficking charges, and has been sentenced to 44 years.

According to Patch, agents discovered “one large industrial pill press and two smaller pill presses capable of producing over 25,000 pills per hour.”  Additionally, they found a total of four hundred fake oxycodone pills along with an additional ten kilograms of furanyl fentanyl powder during searches of the West’s properties.  Patch notes, “The defendant was then stamping the pills to appear like the pharmaceutically prepared pill Oxycodone,” in a warehouse rented by West.

According to the Gwinnett Daily Post, authorities were first tipped off to West’s activities by Homeland Security, who informed them of West’s purchase of pill making materials from a company in Canada.  DEA Special Agent J. Poole noted that it was likely the furanyl fentanyl and U-47700 was purchased from China.