October 25, 2021: Some Cleveland Clinic employees got COVID after a company supplied them with 400K N95 masks.
Federal authorities are investigating Q2 Solutions, a Pennsylvania-based company that shipped hundreds of thousands of faulty, counterfeit N95 masks to as many as 20 medical facilities across the country. More than 400,000 masks went to the Cleveland Clinic, where some employees tested positive for the coronavirus after using the counterfeit masks.
Other news from the midwest
In Missouri, the Clay County Sheriff’s Office urged families to speak with children about the dangers of counterfeit drugs and accessing medications from sources other than a licensed pharmacy. A family in nearby Cameron shared that their daughter, 17-year-old Faith Richardson, had died after ingesting counterfeit pills on October 17th.
Newport, Michigan resident Mark Alan McNeil received a 12-to-20-year prison sentence for drug-related charges. In 2020, investigators found that McNeil purchased and received parts for a commercial pill press that was capable of producing 90,000 fake Xanax pills an hour.
The DEA assistant special agent in charge of Central and Southern Indiana reported that the agency seized 100,000 counterfeit pills made with fentanyl in his jurisdiction in 2021.
A recovery-focused organization in Cleveland, Ohio warned about a spike in fentanyl poisonings from counterfeit Xanax pills circulating on the city’s west side.
In Pennsylvania, Leandro Rodriguez of Allentown pleaded guilty for his part in a conspiracy that smuggled a banned weight-loss drug and an erectile dysfunction medication from China and sold them online and in a McAllen, Texas flea market as “all-natural” dietary supplements from 2011 to 2017. Meanwhile, Reading City Police arrested two people and seized more than a half-million dollars in illicit drugs—including almost 2,000 fentanyl pills—and four firearms from an apartment in the city.
Donatarius Leshay Boone of Norfolk, Virginia was sentenced to more than 21 years in prison for importing tens of thousands of counterfeit opioid pills made with fentanyl and supplying them to dealers.
In Nashville, Tennessee, the DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge issued a warning about counterfeit prescription pills made with fentanyl.
A woman in Tennessee who survived fentanyl poisoning after taking fake Xanax in 2020 warned about the dangers of counterfeit pills: “The FDA doesn’t check the street drugs and so you can get anything from anyone. It could possibly kill you.”
Jake Ehlinger's family shared that the University of Texas linebacker, who died in May 2021, was fatally poisoned by a fake Xanax pill.
Prosecutors in Gwinnett County, Georgia announced their decision to seek murder convictions for cases in which a dealer has provided drugs that killed someone.
Law enforcement in Tucson, Arizona arrested alleged members of a conspiracy to distribute illicit drugs, including more than 50,000 fentanyl pills, that they advertised on Snapchat. Investigators say associates of the suspects were involved in at least one murder and the drug death of a high school freshman in Idaho.
Police in Colorado Springs, Colorado arrested three people who were allegedly dealing drugs in a hotel. A search yielded numerous drugs, including 16 ounces of fentanyl pills, and several firearms.
The University of Denver warned about fentanyl in the city's illicit drug supply, and particularly about counterfeit pills. Denver’s 18 fentanyl-related deaths in 2017 rose to 159 in 2020.
Federal Way, Washington resident Raoul V. Normandia, Jr. got more than five years in prison for trafficking counterfeit fentanyl pills, several of which made their way to Navy sailors, killing one and sickening three more in April 2020.
A woman has been charged for allegedly selling the counterfeit oxycodone pills that killed 47-year-old Brian Zeigler of Yakima, Washington in July.
Residents of Springfield, Oregon held a protest outside an apartment building that had been the site of two drug deaths between July 30 and October 8, 2021. Among those protesters was Sarah Vail, who lost her daughter, Mckenzie, to a fake pill in May 2020.
Health officials in Shasta County, California reported an increase in the number of fentanyl-related deaths between 2020 and 2021, and warned residents about the dangers of counterfeit pills made with fentanyl.
San Diego, California County officials announced a forthcoming fentanyl awareness campaign focused on teens and young adults who may be considering buying pills on the street.
The World Medical Association, an international organization representing physicians, called for the worldwide shutdown of websites selling medical products illegally, which have proliferated during the coronavirus pandemic.