The Oregonian reported that a Beaverton resident received a 97-month federal prison sentence for selling counterfeit oxycodone pills that he purchased online. Federal prosecutors stated that Jared Gillespie originally purchased the pills from a Salt Lake City, Utah-based vendor on AlphaBay, a now-shuttered online marketplace. Gillespie received his shipments of fake pills at a private post office box in Portland. In total, the Salt Lake City vendor received a total of $294,000 in Bitcoin for the pills.
When law enforcement arrested the unnamed vendor, they seized 16,000 pills destined for Gillespie. Prosecutors believe that the defendant distributed the other 70,000 pills purchased to buyers in Oregon. Just before his arrest, Gillespie ordered a small shipment of fentanyl from Hong Kong. A search of his computer led investigators to conclude that the defendant planned on manufacturing his own counterfeit oxycodone pills using that fentanyl. He purchased a pill press and a die with the markings “30” and “M” on it. Investigators stated that Gillespie’s internet search history included a search for “how much fentanyl to press into Oxy.”
Earlier reporting from The Oregonian on this case stated that Gillespie began to purchase pills online in October 2015, with vendors claiming that some of the pills contained fentanyl. Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Radcliffe asked that Gillespie receive a longer prison sentence. Specifically, Radcliffe cited the large quantity of pills bought by Gillespie and the risk posed by drug traffickers “who pass off fentanyl as something else.”
Oregon is one of 46 states in which PSM has documented counterfeit pills and one of 29 states in which someone died after taking a counterfeit fentanyl pill. To learn about other counterfeit medicine incidents in the Beaver State, please read PSM’s Oregon 2018 Infosheet.