June Was a Dangerous Month in Arizona as Over 130,000 Fake Pills Made with Fentanyl Seized Throughout State

Source: Office of Arizona Attorney General

A series of eight different busts in Arizona this month has yielded approximately  132,000 counterfeit pills made with fentanyl, with seizures happening all across the Grand Canyon state.

June 5th was the busiest day of the month for Arizona authorities. On that date, Consuelo Reyes Carrasco of Mesa was indicted on charges she attempted to sell 5,000 fentanyl-laced pills to undercover officers, according to ABC15.

In nearby Phoenix, 12 News reports that Randall Arrington, William Stevens and Stevens' 17-year-old son were arrested by the Yavapai County Sheriff's Department for being in possession of 229 counterfeit oxycodone pills. A test of one of the pills found it to be composed of illicit fentanyl.

WDTV detailed a bust in San Luis, Arizona on June 5th,  where three teenage girls attending summer school were arrested in possession of more than 3,000 M30 blue pills made with fentanyl.

A report from Tucson’s KGUN9 describes how, Pima County Sheriff’s Deputies discovered 5,000 counterfeit pills suspected of containing fentanyl during a routine traffic stop. The pills were found secreted in a compartment beneath the car’s center console.

Two days later in Tempe on June 7th, Maricopa County Sheriffs disrupted a drug deal outside the Arizona Mills mall and seized 14,000 pills suspected to be composed of fentanyl.  Edwin Veliz-Flores, Roberto Yescas and Ines Acosta were arrested at the scene.

On June 12, ABC15 reported on a bust by the DEA in southern Arizona that yielded more than 73,000 fentanyl pills in a single bust. DEA agents warned ABC15 that “drug makers are getting smarter, manufacturing the drug to look almost identical to pharmaceuticals or other, less harmful drugs.”

On June 14th, The San Luis Police Department found 1,200 fake pills made with fentanyl and arrested and 18-year-old named Juan Francisco Neblina at his home, KYMA reports.

Near the end of June, AZ Family reported that two men in Winslow, Arizona were arrested June 21st transporting 30,000 counterfeit pills made with fentanyl that were made to look like prescription morphine pills.

According to DEA Special Agent Doug Coleman, Arizona’s southern border with Mexico is the most common way that these fake pills enter Arizona but he lamented the Catch-22 of the situation to ABC15: “We seized a bunch of dope, we saved a bunch of lives. On the other hand, it's disheartening because it means that there is more and more of this coming across and bigger and bigger quantities."