October 12, 2021: Snapchat proposes changes to help stop dealers

Counterfeit pill dealers have exploited Snapchat's platform in recent years. Learn more here

After listening to grieving parents who have lost children to counterfeit pills sold on their platform, Snapchat announced new efforts to crackdown down on illegal drug sales. They report that they are improving technical capabilities to find and remove drug dealers, bolstering the team that responds to law enforcement requests and setting up educational resources that will appear when users search for drug-related keywords.

In other national news, the FDA is still finding hand sanitizer with unsafe contaminants: On October 4, 2021, they warned that testing had found unacceptable levels of benzene, acetaldehyde, and acetal contaminants in artnaturals scent free hand sanitizer.

Pacific West

U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration officials in San Diego, California seized over 131,500 counterfeit fentanyl pills in the final week of September.

A Tarzan, California resident was arrested after they allegedly provided fake Xanax pills that caused fentanyl poisoning.

Morgan Wency Ventura Sanchez of Fresno, California received a six-year-and-six-month sentence for possession of fentanyl pills and illegal possession of a firearm.

A federal grand jury indicted a Fresno, California man for possession with intent to distribute fentanyl pills. Agents found approximately 9,000 fentanyl pills hidden in a safe in his home in September.

The Fresno County Sheriff's Office arrested a man after they found about 4,000 counterfeit fentanyl pills in his car during a traffic stop in Coalinga, California.

At the Highway 111 checkpoint in Niland, California, border patrol agents seized approximately 1,000 blue fentanyl pills, hidden inside a car behind air conditioning vents.

An article about the escalating availability of counterfeit pills made with fentanyl in Jackson County, Oregon reported that there had been fatal pill poisonings in Jacksonville, Medford, Talent and White City to date this year.

Mountain West

Drugs seized near the Albuquerque airport in October 2021. (Source: BCSO)

The South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation reported the seizure of 6,000 counterfeit M30 pills in Rapid City.

A Las Vegas man is facing drug charges after police found almost 300 fentanyl pills, and over 1,500 grams of various other drugs in his hotel room in Bismarck, North Dakota.

A second Las Vegas resident was charged with second-degree murder for allegedly supplying fake oxycodone pills made with fentanyl that fatally poisoned her ex-boyfriend in February 2021.

In Albuquerque, New Mexico, Bernalillo County deputies and FBI agents arrested an Arizona man after seizing 18,000 fentanyl pills, pounds of methamphetamine and ounces of heroin hidden in his vehicle.


After seizing fentanyl from a man during a traffic stop in Birmingham, Alabama, Jefferson County Sheriff’s Deputies and the FBI found an additional 207 grams of fentanyl, 27 grams of heroin, and a large amount of illegal pills in his Pleasant Grove home.

D’Anne Turner spoke about her brother, Gerald Gilbert, who died in Paulding County, Georgia after taking a fake Xanax made with fentanyl earlier this year. The Atlanta metropolitan area has seen a large uptick in counterfeit pills: police in the region seized more than 9,000 fake pills made with fentanyl and 2 kilograms of pure fentanyl in a single week this month.

Dr. James W. Heroman, an ophthalmologist formerly of Charlotte, North Carolina, pleaded guilty to importing non-FDA approved Lucentis and billing Medicare for the full price of the macular degeneration drug.

Dare County, North Carolina’s sheriff warned that his officers had been seeing counterfeit pills made with fentanyl in the Outer Banks.

Three Marion, Virginia residents are facing charges for distributing fake oxycodone pills. Court documents say that two of the men bought pills from alleged dealers via Snapchat.

Judith Holloway of Watauga, Texas received a six-month prison sentence for selling 2,4-Dinitrophenol (DNP) as a weight loss treatment. The FDA banned DNP in 1938 because it can cause cataracts, hyperthermia, tachycardia, cardiac arrhythmia, and death.

In Oklahoma, the governor’s office announced that the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics has seized approximately 80,000 counterfeit oxycodone tablets to date.


A rally organized by the Ohio chapter of Association of People against Lethal Drugs in Defiance, Ohio brought family members of counterfeit pill victims, including Tena Pruitt, lost her 22-year-old son Logan Harris to a fake prescription pill made with fentanyl in October 2020.

In Illinois, officials in Peoria and Tazewell Counties warned residents that counterfeit Percocet pills made with fentanyl were circulating in the area.

On the evening of October 4, CBP at the International Mail Facility at Chicago O’Hare seized two small shipments of counterfeit COVID-19 vaccine cards on their way to Texas and packages of illegally imported ivermectin on their way to Atlanta and St. Louis Park, Minnesota.

Police discovered more than 400 counterfeit fentanyl pills and other drugs during the search of a residence in Lorain, Ohio.

A Sioux City, Iowa business owner will plead guilty to selling thousands of doses of non-FDA approved erectile dysfunction drugs illegally imported from Germany or India. It is the second time he has been prosecuted and pleaded guilty to this activity.


A sign from APALD's rally in Defiance, Ohio. (Source: Facebook)


Jake Beddoe died of fentanyl poisoning after taking part of a fake Xanax pill in May 2020. His mom Niki is working with Connecticut’s awareness campaign, You Think You Know CT to get the message out about counterfeit pills and save lives.

Police in Hampton and Seabrook, New Hampshire warned that they had seen counterfeit fentanyl pills and fake Adderall circulating in their communities.

Kevin Lipsitz of Staten Island, New York pleaded guilty to mail fraud in connection with hoarding large quantities of personal protective equipment, dishonest shipping practices and price gouging at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.