According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), a 34-year-old Pennsylvania man received a 210-month sentence for selling counterfeit pills made with fentanyl. Nathan A. Ott of Chambersburg pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute fentanyl starting in October 2015 until his arrest in May 2017.
The DOJ stated that Ott purchased fentanyl by the kilogram and then pressed it into fake pills which he and others distributed. At first, Ott used a manual pill press, but demand increased to such a level that he purchased a motorized press capable of making 5,000 pills in one hour. Ott distributed pills via the Internet and his six co-conspirators distributed pills to customers. Ott pleaded guilty in July 2017, but the other six defendants are all still awaiting trial.
The Chambersburg Public Opinion reported that police found approximately 18,000 fentanyl pills and other related materials during the search of a storage unit in Hamilton County. With each pill selling for $35, those pills had a street value of over $600,000. Chief U.S. District Court Judge Christopher C. Conner ordered Ott to forfeit $164,010 in cash and 19.7128804 in Bitcoin. The value of Bitcoin is continually changing, but currently, that amount would equal over $120,000.
This case was the result of the combined efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Franklin County District Attorney’s Office, the Franklin County Drug Task Force, the Chambersburg and the Shippensburg Police Departments, and the Pennsylvania State Police. Assistant U.S. Attorney Daryl F. Bloom prosecuted the case.