A group of six people, five men and one woman all in their early twenties have been indicted on federal charges that they were using industrial pill presses to make counterfeit Xanax and fentanyl/carfentanil pills. They are also accused of selling the fake pills throughout Georgia via the Internet, the Department of Justice (DOJ) reports.
According to the DOJ, Walker Christian Forrester, Kolbie Hadden Watters, Larry Overton, Jonathan Britt Lester, Armand Sananda Saedi, and Morgan McKenzie Slaton all face charges related to the production and sale of the counterfeit pills. Forrester first came to the attention of authorities in September 2017 after purchasing an industrial-grade pill press. In November, Forrester and Watters were caught with 5,200 counterfeit Xanax pills during a traffic stop in Harlem, Georgia.
The DOJ also reports that Watters and Lester are facing charges of felony murder in the death of Chase David Loffler, whose body was found in a shallow grave in the backyard of Lester’s home.
11 Alive News originally covered the brutal beating and suffocation murder of Loffler, who has subsequently been identified as a co-conspirator in the counterfeit Xanax ring.
Thomas J. Holloman, special agent in charge of the IRS Criminal Investigations for the Atlanta field office told 11 Alive News: "This is just a small piece of the puzzle in a growing opioid and pill mill problem in the state of Georgia. It also involved other alleged criminal activity touching all three judicial districts within Georgia as those involved showed the lengths they were willing to go to commit various crimes.”