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The Capital Gazette reported on the guilty plea earlier this month by Robert Luke Simpson of Gambrills on charges of possession with intent to distribute 40 grams or more of fentanyl. Simpson admitted to purchasing 10,000 fentanyl pills on the internet. He paid for the pills using $10,000 in Bitcoin cryptocurrency. At the time of his initial arrest, the Odenton Patch reported that the pills were made to look like oxycodone pills.

When police searched his home in October 2017, they found over 6,200 pills “in a hidden compartment in a wall-mounted shelf and on a desk.” Simpson admitted to having sold up to 1.2 kilograms of pills for between $5-10 each. In addition to the pills, the U.S. Department of Justice listed several other items seized by law enforcement, including $8,578 in cash, mobile phones, computers, iPads, and Bitcoin cryptocurrency mining equipment.

According to the plea agreement, in January and March 2016, members of law enforcement searched four packages shipped to Simpson. The packages contained marijuana and Xanax pills. Law enforcement searched Simpson’s home in March 2016 and found illicit drugs, Xanax pills, counterfeit currency, $2,552 in real currency, and a credit card skimmer that Simpson used to steal credit card information that customers used at the two restaurants he worked at. He would then sell that information to buyers on the Internet. U.S. District Judge George L. Russell, III scheduled Simpson’s sentencing on March 2, 2019.

This case was not the first time that counterfeit pills made fentanyl had been found in Anne Arundel County. In May 2017, the Maryland State Police issued a public warning after counterfeit oxycodone pills made with fentanyl were found in the county. For more information on this and other counterfeit medicine incidents in Maryland, please read PSM’s 2018 Infosheet.