The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Cathine Lavina Sellers of Roswell, Georgia received a three-year prison sentence for possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and other two synthetic opioids – furanyl-fentanyl and U-47700. Sellers pleaded guilty in January 2018 after being indicted by a grand jury on July 11, 2017. Following her prison sentence, Sellers will spend an additional three years on supervised release.
According to the DOJ, on June 13, 2017, Sellers sold approximately 100 pills to a confidential informant working with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) from her townhouse. A search of that property later that same night produced roughly 100 more counterfeit pills that were hidden in dietary supplement bottles. Lab test revealed that the pills, which were made to resemble a 30-milligram Roxicodone, contained fentanyl and the two other synthetic opioids. One Sandy Springs Police officer submitted an affidavit which recounted a conversation between Sellers and the confidential informant where Sellers admitted that the pills were counterfeits made with fentanyl. She also described how multiple customers returned the pills because of how strong they were, only to return to repurchase the pills later.
Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division said, “These dangerous substances, when added to street pills, have caused scores of deaths across this nation. The DEA’s job is to protect its citizens from these substances. The true spirit of federal, state and local law enforcement cooperation led to the successful prosecution of this case.” Assistant U.S. Attorney John T. DeGenova was the prosecutor. Georgia is one of the many states that has been flooded with counterfeit pills made with fentanyl. You can learn by reading PSM’s Georgia 2018 infosheet here.