Police arrested triplet brothers in Raleigh, North Carolina on suspicion of manufacturing and selling counterfeit Xanax pills that contained fentanyl, according to CBS 17. The 21-year-olds, Atsouste, Etse, and Atsou Dossou, were all arrested on May 31, 2018 after an investigation by the Holly Springs Police revealed the trio to be a major supplier of Xanax pills to Holly Springs High School students. Atsouste and Etse’s charges are for selling and possession or conspiracy to possess with the intent to manufacture, sell, and distribute a schedule IV drug. Astou has a charge of trafficking opium or heroin against him as well as a charge for possession with intent to manufacture, sell, and distribute a schedule IV drug.
A tip told police in Raleigh that the brothers were in possession of a large quantity of Xanax pills possibly made with fentanyl. According to the search warrants, a Raleigh Police detective became aware that Garner Police had an informant that claimed the brothers ordered 10,000 fentanyl pills and up to 100,000 Xanax pills off the internet at one time. The brothers had packages delivered to addresses that were “associated with Esta Dossou and his criminal enterprise.”
In March, the informant arranged with Atsouste via Facebook to get 1,000 of the counterfeit Xanax pills. Police took possession of the pills soon after they had been delivered. Later in the month, the informant inquired about purchasing the same number of fake pills. Atsouste said he was waiting on a batch of new pills, but a few hours later, he let the informant know he was ready to make a deal.
Counterfeit pills made with fentanyl are a growing problem across the United States. To learn more, please read PSM’s 43 States and Counting report.