Fox17 News reports two people in Tennessee were arrested for illegally manufacturing Xanax. Joseph Davis and Erica Dotson stand accused of counterfeiting the Schedule IV pills in a clandestine lab and shipping them to purchasers across the country. A U.S. Postal Inspector informed the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office (RCSO) in January of packages being shipped from Murfreesboro to various locations throughout the U.S. Once the shippers were identified, law enforcement intercepted and searched some packages in February only to discover nearly 8,300 Xanax pills. With a street value of $5 per pill, those packages were valued at $41,500.
Search warrants executed at two locations within Rutherford County earlier this month found an additional 58,000 counterfeit Xanax pills and one pound of pure alprazolam powder. Authorities estimated that combined with binding agents, that one pound of powder could have been used to produce about 200,000 additional counterfeit pills, giving the entire seizure a street value of $1.3 million. Narcotics Detective Sgt. Tony Hall warned that drugs produced in clandestine labs dramatically increase the dangers posed to the user because they can never be sure what is in the pills. Sheriff Mike Fitzhugh said RCSO is committed to protecting citizens from illegal drugs. “What we are finding in illegal Xanax is that in 89 percent of the cases statewide, the deadly synthetic drug fentanyl is mixed into the pills,” Fitzhugh said. “We will continue in our efforts to fight to keep these drugs out of Rutherford County.”
U.S. Postal Inspector in Charge David M. McGinnis stated: “The Postal Service has no interest in being the unwitting accomplice to anyone using the U.S. Mail to distribute illegal drugs or other harmful substances. Postal Inspectors objectives are to rid the mail of illicit drug trafficking, preserve the integrity of the mail and, most importantly, provide a safe environment for postal employees and the American public.” The RCSO Narcotics Unit, U.S. Postal Inspectors, and investigators from the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Tactical Diversion Squad, Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and Food and Drug Administration all contributed to this investigation.