Two Waverly, 20-year old Iowa men will spend a total of 137 months in federal prison for selling counterfeit oxycodone pills that contained carfentanil, according to The Gazette. Evan P. Sage and Cameron J. Lensmeyer both entered guilty pleas earlier this year. The former received an 85-month sentence and the latter received a 52-month prison sentence. In a plea agreement, Lensmeyer admitted that Sage purchased hundreds of prescription pills online, including oxycodone and alprazolam pills.
According to a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) press release announcing the sentences, law enforcement seized over 800 blue pills that appeared to be oxycodone pills during a June 2017 search of men’s Cedar Falls residence. Subsequent testings showed some of the pills contained carfentanil while other pills contained cyclopropyl fentanyl. Carfentanil is 100 times more powerful than fentanyl and is not approved for use in humans. The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration designated cyclopropyl fentanyl as a Schedule I drug in January 2018, which means it has no accepted medical applications in the United States.
After announcing the plea deals earlier this year, U.S. Attorney Peter E. Deegan, Jr. issued a stark warning: “Counterfeit prescription pills have become all too common. A pill may look like a prescription drug, but unless it was prescribed by a legitimate health care provider, looks can be deceiving. Pills purchased off the Internet or from the street often contain drugs far more powerful and dangerous than the purchaser may realize. These pills can kill.”
The Tri-County Drug Enforcement Task Force investigated this case, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Dan Chatham prosecuted the case for the DOJ. To learn more about other counterfeit medicine cases in Iowa – including a Clive doctor who purchased cancer medicine from convicted drug distributor Medical Device King – please read PSM’s 2018 Iowa Infosheet.