Data retrieved from a dead Connecticut man’s mobile phone allowed authorities to determine who sold the man the counterfeit Xanax pill that killed him, according to The Connecticut Post. That man, Kamil Golebiowski, pleaded guilty in federal court to one count distribution of alprazolam, the active pharmaceutical ingredient in Xanax. The victim, in this case, died of acute intoxication from the combined effects of multiple drugs including fentanyl, etizolam, flubromazolam, heroin, and cocaine. None of those items are found in legitimate Xanax pills, and both fentanyl and flubromazolam are potent and can deadly at just a few milligrams. Previous PSM coverage of this case is available here.
In a press release announcing the plea deal, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) referenced court documents that indicated that on July 9, 2017, police and emergency medical services in Seymour responded to a suspected overdose at a residence. Medical personnel was unable to revive the victim, and his mobile phone was one of many items police seized at the scene. An analysis of that phone led authorities to Golebiowski.
Investigators made multiple controlled buys of Xanax pills from Golebiowski between August 2017 and May 2018. At the beginning of June 2018, two packages mailed from Canada to Golebiowski were seized that contained approximately 1,400 counterfeit Xanax pills. Law enforcement arrested him on June 19, 2018.
Golebiowski is currently free on bond and faces up to five years in prison. His sentencing is scheduled for January 4, 2019. This case is the result of the combined efforts of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s New Haven tactical Diversion Squad, Shelton Police Department, and Seymour Police Department, with assistance from Homeland Security Investigations and U.S. Customs and Border Protection. Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas P. Morabito prosecuted this case.
Connecticut is one of the 45 states in which PSM has documented where counterfeit pills made with fentanyl have been found. It is also one of the 27 states in which PSM has confirmed that a counterfeit prescription pill made with fentanyl has killed someone. To learn about other counterfeit drug incidents – including counterfeit cancer drugs – please read Connecticut’s 2018 Infosheet.