New Jersey Is The Most Recent State With A Confirmed Death Caused By Counterfeit Fentanyl Pills

Click here to read more from PSM’s January report 46 States and Counting

On February 26th, police in Toms River, New Jersey arrested a man they say is responsible for selling the counterfeit fentanyl pills that caused the January 2019 death of a resident, according to Ocean County Prosecutor Bradley B. Billhimer announced multiple charges against Peter Keith Paul including strict liability for a drug-induced death and distribution of a controlled dangerous substance (fentanyl).

Police arrived at a home after receiving a call on January 26, 2019 about an unresponsive man who was pronounced dead at the scene. A toxicology report confirmed fentanyl in the victim’s system. An investigation showed that Paul sold pills to the victim the day before they died.

According to  WOMB-FM, Paul was first arrested on February 15th, when law enforcement executed a search warrant on his residence. At that time, detectives from the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department, and the Toms River Police Department seized a large quantity of Xanax and Suboxone pills, as well as two handguns and over $4,000 in cash. For this bust, the prosecutor charged Paul with possession of a controlled dangerous substance with the intent to distribute and two counts of possession of a controlled dangerous substance.

Since 2015, when PSM began tracking reports of counterfeit pills containing fentanyl, we have found documented cases of these deadly pills in 46 states, with deaths confirmed in 31. Our most recent report – 46 States and Countingis available here. Since the creation of this report in January, PSM has learned of confirmed deaths in two additional states – Montana and now New Jersey.