Prosecutors charged two brothers in Washington state for allegedly manufacturing counterfeit pills out of a Bremerton apartment, according to the Kitsap Daily News. Prosecutors said that 28-year-old Evan Stansbery and 30-year-old Matthew Stansbery sold pills they made using drugs and equipment purchased online. Police originally began to investigate Evan when a Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputy received information in July about a package shipped from China containing alprazolam. Alprazolam is the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Xanax.
Inspectors with the U.S. Postal Inspection Service intercepted the package and confirmed that the powder was hidden inside a laser printer cartridge. A controlled delivery of the package was made to an apartment on Barnett Street, allowing the Kitsap County Sheriff’s Office to obtain a search warrant. During the search of the property, detectives found three pill press machines, binders, cutting agents, plus with die molds for oxycodone pills, alprazolam, and methadone. Police said the pill presses were capable of producing more than 80 pills per minutes, and they also found hundreds of pills that had already been made.
Evan consented to an interview with police around the time of the search, and he told them that Matthew was the one to order the necessary supplies online. According to prosecutors, a witness said that Evan was responsible for handling the money while Matthew was in charge of manufacturing the counterfeit pills. Prosecutors noted that Matthew admitted to police that “he provided guidance on the chemical aspects of manufacturing Xanax pills.” One witness stated that at least some of the pills were delivered to someone named Thaddeus, who would sell them on the streets of Seattle.
Both Evan and Matthew Stanbery entered not guilty pleas during their arraignment. Each is being held in Kitsap County Jail on $100,000 bail. Their trial is set to begin on December 10, 2018. To read about other counterfeit medicine cases in Washington state, please read PSM’s 2018 Infosheet.