ACTION: Raise penalties for manufacturing fake pills using illegal pill presses
Drug counterfeiters are rarely prosecuted for using Illegal pill presses, even though the machines cost American lives. Help increase the criminal penalties for those caught distributing controlled substances with them.
Illegal pill presses are the source of a great many counterfeits that harm Americans. Over the past five years, families in 39 states lost family members to counterfeit pills, many of them made here in America using illegal pill presses and molds. Penalties for possessing an illegal pill press are not significant enough to deter criminals from using them. In fact, possession of an illegal pill press or mold is a crime that's rarely even charged by prosecutors.
We aim to change that.
Representative Kustoff of Tennessee and Senator Cassidy of Louisiana introduced the CAST Act in both houses of Congress in September 2019. Neither bill has left committee.
What you can do:
Constituents need to create interest in the CAST Act order to make it law.
Use the form at the right to tell your elected officials in the House and Senate to co-sponsor HR 4510, the Criminalizing Abused Substance Templates (CAST) Act from Rep. Kustoff (R-TN-8) and Rep. Spanberger (D-VA-7) and S. 2573 from Sen. Cassidy (R-LA) and Sen. Hassan (D-NH).
Background / resources:
- Visit our Pill Press report page to read how poor regulation of pill presses and pill molds in the U.S. threaten the lives of our citizens.
- Download "Pill Presses and the New Decentralized Counterfeit Trade," which explains how criminals make counterfeit pills using pill presses.
Stories about counterfeit drugs and pill presses
According to a report from Europol’s Intellectual Property Crime Threat Assessment 2019, “Counterfeit pharmaceuticals pose a growing threat to the EU, affecting a large number of Member States. A wide and increasingly diverse range of medicines is targeted by counterfeiters.”
The Europol ICP Threat Assessment reports that there has been an increase in seizures of counterfeit drugs used in the treatment of serious illnesses, as well as a growing number of counterfeit drug incidents affecting the legal drug supply chain.
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.
Red Boiling Springs mayor Joel Rae Coe has been arrested on drug trafficking charges after a year-long joint investigation between the Macon County Sheriff’s Department the Red Boiling Springs Police Department, the Lafayette Police Department and the Tennessee Highway Patrol. Authorities found 3 bags of 10 milligram hydrocodone pills, one page of 7.5 milligram hydrocodone pills, two bags of 10 milligram oxycodone pills, 154 morphine pills, 48 unidentifiable white pills, a pharmaceutical pill press and four pounds of a white powder that authorities believe is a fentanyl compound.
The proposed legislation, H.R. 6554, will require that anyone who owns, purchases or imports pill press must be registered them with the U.S. Attorney General.
The U.S. Department of Justice announced charges against an Akron, Ohio resident after a search of his home turned up items “consistent with a large-scale pill press operation.” Donyea Nelson received a nine-count indictment in federal court, which included charges for possession of fentanyl, possession of a pill press, and possession of die molds…
Federal drug trafficking charges have been filed against Gizachew Wondie, a resident of the Capitol Hill section of Seattle, on charges that he was manufacturing and selling counterfeit Xanax pills and other drugs. In addition to the discovery of a handgun, investigators found approximately 11,000 ‘Xanax’ pills stored in large plastic bags, and a large pill press.
A long-term investigation in New York City into a drug ring ended with the arrest of three men. One of the men was a superintendent who allegedly allowed the residential building’s boiler room and a vacant apartment to be used to manufacture counterfeit oxycodone pills that contained fentanyl and heroin…
The U.S. Department of Justice announced a guilty plea from Ryan Farace of Maryland. In less than four years, he manufactured and sold over 920,000 counterfeit Xanax pills on various online marketplaces…
Lewis Chafin of Fayetteville, Arkansas pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of possession of a tableting or encapsulating machine with the intent to manufacture fentanyl. After receiving a tip, a search of Chafin’s home by law enforcement turned up 43 counterfeit oxycodone pills, various pharmaceutical powders – including fentanyl, oxycodone, morphine, zolpidem, and alprazolam – and a pill press…
U.S. Department of Justice announced charges against two men in Missouri for possession with intent to distribute fentanyl. Law enforcement found two kilograms of fentanyl powder as well as two machines capable of making pills while executing search warrants at two apartments in St. Charles associated with the defendants…