South Dakota Man Sentenced To 121 Months After Trafficking In Fentanyl Pills And Other Drug

Counterfeit oxycodone pill containing fentanyl
Source: Jamestown, North Dakota Police Department

Sioux City Journal reported that a Yankton, South Dakota man will spend more than ten years in federal prison for trafficking in fentanyl and other drugs. Cory Poelstra pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance. According to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice, law enforcement found a variety of drugs during a search of Poelstra’s residence on October 19, 2017 including 660 fentanyl pills. They also discovered hundreds of empty U.S. Postal Service parcels and several FedEx and UPS packages that had been used to ship Poelstra controlled substances.

Several months later, law enforcement seized $445,220 in cash in connection with the investigation. This money was in addition to over $86,000 seized during the initial search. According to a court document, Poelstra and an unnamed co-conspirator entered into an agreement that they would distribute drugs in South Dakota and elsewhere. Poelstra purchased drugs on the Internet. He would then sell some of the drugs onto other individuals who were themselves drug dealers. The 660 fentanyl pills seized from the home tested positive for 4-ANPP, 4-anilino-N-phenethylpiperidine, a Schedule II chemical and a precursor ingredient to fentanyl and other opiates.

South Dakota is not the only Dakota with recent fentanyl pill news. In early February, police in Jamestown, North Dakota issued a warning after they found counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl, according to The Jamestown Sun. The pills were blue, with an “M” on one side and a “30” on the other.  Lt. Robert Opp, a day shift supervisor, warned that people do not realize they are purchasing something that contains fentanyl, which can lead to death.

North Dakota and South Dakota are just two of the 46 states in which PSM has documented reports of counterfeit pills containing fentanyl. To see where else counterfeit fentanyl-laced pills have been found and where these deadly pills have taken lives, please read PSM’s 46 States and Counting.