November 29, 2021: CBP and FDA seize 26,000 unapproved contact lenses

In late October, Customs and Border Protection officers in Cincinnati, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Office of Criminal Investigation special agents and FDA consumer safety officers seized more than 26,000 pairs of decorative contact lenses that are illegal to sell in the U.S. In the past, contact lenses like these have been contaminated with harmful bacteria.

Other national news

Prohibited contact lenses from Hong Kong and Japan seized in Cincinnati, October 2021 (Source: CBP) 


Gabriel Rivera of Manchester, New Hampshire received a 90-month prison sentence for drug trafficking and firearms charges. Manchester Police found several kinds of illicit drugs, including fentanyl pills, when they searched his apartment and a hotel room in May 2020.


A couple in Cape Coral, Florida were arrested after their 18-month-old son was hospitalized for fentanyl poisoning from counterfeit pills he found in a nightstand.

A Richmond, Virginia mother who lost her son, Cullen Hazelwood, to a counterfeit Xanax in 2019 is working with local stakeholders on education and legislation to prevent more fentanyl pill deaths.

Police in Catawba County, North Carolina arrested a man after they found counterfeit oxycodone pills made with fentanyl in his home.


Police in Fishers, Indiana warned that they were investigating several accidental poisonings and three deaths that may be the result of counterfeit pills that contained fentanyl.

Have you been watching PSM's video series about Operation Denial, a six-year investigation into an international fentanyl trafficking conspiracy that spanned Canada, China and the U.S.  Catch up here.

Pacific West

Fentanyl pills disguised as prescription oxycodone seized during an investigation into drug trafficking in Snohomish County, Washington. (U.S. Attorney’s Office)

​​Marysville, Washington resident Anthony Pelayo received a 15-year prison sentence and a $150,000 fine for his role in a ring that made and sold hundreds of thousands of fake pills made with fentanyl between 2016 and 2019. A co-conspirator, Jerome Isham of Everett received a 10-year sentence.

23-year-old Olatunde James Temitope Akintonde of El Cajon, California received a 15-year sentence for selling the fake pills made with fentanyl that killed a 19-year-old Santee man in March 2019. According to court documents, Akintonde sold various prescription pills on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.

Brandon Jacob Shepherd of San Diego, California received an almost 14-year prison sentence for selling fentanyl that killed an 18-year-old San Diego woman in January 2020. DEA agents found fentanyl in pill and powder form when they searched Shepherd’s hotel room.

Families in Modesto, California spoke out about the fentanyl poisoning deaths of their loved ones, among them Jason Abney, who died in April 2021 after taking half of a Xanax pill he purchased on SnapChat.


Police and health ministry officials in Rassada, Thailand shut down an illegal cough medicine factory and seized more than 21,000 bottles of cough medicine.

Bottles seized from an illegal factory making cough medicine in Thailand. (Royal Thai Police Consumer Protection Division in Bangkok)