June 21, 2021: Busted in 2018, Connecticut pill maker pleads guilty
Vincent Decaro of Stamford, Connecticut pleaded guilty a charge related to manufacturing counterfeit oxycodone pills made with fentanyl analogues. Law enforcement searched Decaro’s home while he was in Europe in April 2018 and seized fentanyl pills and powder, three pill presses, and other drug paraphernalia. Albanian State Police arrested Decaro and an associate while they were trying to cross the border into Kosovo in September 2018.
Prosecutions and Seizures
A federal judge sentenced Charles Crest of Claymont, Delaware to more than ten years in prison for possessing and intending to distribute fentanyl pills disguised as oxycodone. Crest sold over 1,000 fentanyl pills to an undercover DEA officer in 2020, and law enforcement discovered 4,000 more of the pills during a search of his apartment.
Bakersfield, California resident Jose Mario Quintero Beltran pleaded guilty to possession with the intent to distribute after he arranged a meeting to sell 20,000 fake oxycodone pills. Investigators found 51,000 counterfeit oxycodone pills made with fentanyl and 43 pounds of other drugs Quintero Beltran possession.
New Mexico's U.S. Attorney charged three Albuquerque residents with running a drug ring that sold meth and fentanyl, including fake oxycodone pills made with fentanyl.
King County, Washington’s prosecuting attorney charged a Bellevue man with controlled substance homicide for allegedly providing the fentanyl pills that killed a woman in June 2020.
Police found a cache of illicit drugs, including 1,000 fentanyl pills, in a hotel room in Kent, Washington while responding to a domestic violence call.
News reported that a Spanish Lake, Missouri man had taken an unknown number of heroin or fentanyl pills just before he struck and killed a pedestrian in Moline Acres in early January.
A former University of Reno-Nevada football player is facing six felony charges after he sold 115 fentanyl pills to undercover detectives in Reno.
Police arrested a Clinton, Massachusetts man after they seized 46 grams of fake Adderall pills made with methamphetamine from his home.
Idaho State Police arrested two people in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho after finding “numerous” fentanyl pills in their car during a traffic stop.
Warnings and Deaths
Officials in Llano County, Texas issued a public safety announcement regarding a sharp increase in poisonings—one fatal—which they suspect are related to counterfeit fentanyl pills.
Spokane, Washington residents Wayne and Stephanie Boyle spoke about their daughter, Kayla, a 23-year-old medical technician who died of fentanyl poisoning in April after taking a Percocet she didn’t realize was counterfeit.
Robert Stewart, Jr. will serve 21 months in federal prison for promising the Veteran’s Administration and FEMA 6,500,000 N95 masks he could not deliver and lying about his payroll expenses to get more than $1 million in COVID-19 relief funds. Prosecutors also found that Stewart, an Air Force veteran, received almost $74,000 in medical benefits between 2013 and 2020 after making fraudulent claims that he was a decorated Marine.
Bedrock Group, a Salem, Massachusetts-based company, has agreed to pay the state of Massachusetts a $250,000 fine and return $3.2 million in funds for N95 masks it promised in April 2020, but never delivered.
PSM is keeping a steady eye on public reports of dangerous counterfeit drugs and other medical products. Check back for next week’s summary.