November 8, 2021 : Mexico disrupts flow of pills with largest fentanyl seizure ever

The fentanyl seizure in Culiacán was the largest in Mexican history. (Image source: Cuarto Poder de Chiapias)

Mexico announced the bust of a fentanyl lab in Culiacan, Mexico and the seizure of 260 pounds of the drug—the largest seizure of pure fentanyl ever made in the country. The Mexican army estimated that the bust would disrupt the production of about 70 million of the blue fentanyl pills every month.


Rep. James Clyburn, the chair of the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis announced an investigation into two organizations’ promotion of “disproven and potentially hazardous coronavirus treatments” such as ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine.


A federal judge in Brooklyn, New York sentenced Joanna De Alba to 96 months in prison for selling illegal narcotics—including fentanyl concealed as oxycodone pills—on a darknet market between June 2018 and May 2019. She pleaded guilty in April 2021.

New York rapper Fetty Wap was one of six people arrested as part of a wholesale drug conspiracy. Numerous fentanyl pills and kilos of heroin and cocaine were seized as part of the investigation.

Three Bangor, Maine residents who were arrested last week for the alleged possession and sale of fentanyl and methamphetamines were found with over 700 counterfeit pills of an unknown substance.

A review of De Alba's products. She sold drugs under the name "RaptureReloaded" on Wall Street Market. (Source:


In Illinois, the Kane County Sheriff’s Office found fake prescription pills, including over two pounds of counterfeit Adderall made with methamphetamine in a man’s car during a traffic stop in Elgin. The man’s arrest is part of a larger investigation by the sheriff’s office and U.S. Postal Inspectors into drug trafficking through the mail.


Nine bricks of fentanyl-laced Oxycontin seized from a man from New Jersey in Barren County, Kentucky. Source: Kentucky State Police

A federal court sentenced former Kentucky state employee Howard Stanley Head, Jr to a year and a day in prison for importing and reselling non-FDA approved erectile dysfunction drugs. He was also fined $1,000 and ordered to forfeit $30,275.

Kentucky State Police stopped a New Jersey man who was driving erratically in Barren County and found nine taped-up bricks of fentanyl-laced Oxycontin and more than two pounds of cocaine in his car.

A federal jury in Virginia convicted Kibruysday Degefa of Alexandria for his part in a drug ring that sold a synthetic cathinone called eutylone and counterfeit pills made with fentanyl that led to the death of a 20-year-old woman in Arlington.

A Sugar Hill, Georgia resident was arrested outside a Gainesville Dunkin’ Donuts after he met with an undercover FBI agent to sell 3,000 fentanyl pills. A search of the man’s home yielded multiple bags of suspected fentanyl pills.

Police in Horry County, South Carolina seized multiple guns, armor, and drugs—including fentanyl pills—from a Murrells Inlet woman.

Memphis, Tennessee resident Jeremy Edwards was sentenced to 97 months in federal prison for drug trafficking and possession of a firearm. Memphis Police found heroin, fentanyl and multiple pill presses during several warranted searches of his home.

A deputy in Randall County, Texas found two bundles of blue M-30 fentanyl pills, meth, $157,231 in cash and multiple firearms during a traffic stop on October 30.

A traffic stop in Tupelo, Mississippi led to the seizure of marijuana and several hundred tablets of alleged fentanyl.

Pacific West

Federal authorities in Seattle, Washington indicted 16 people for their alleged roles in a methamphetamine and fentanyl distribution ring that moved methamphetamine and fentanyl pills from California to six Washington state counties.

Clark County, Washington Sheriff’s Major Crimes Team concluded a five-month investigation with the arrest of two people and the seizure of around 11,000 counterfeit oxycodone pills suspected of containing fentanyl and steroids.

Federal agents reported that, working with police in Oregon, they seized about 200,000 counterfeit oxycodone pills suspected to contain fentanyl, and arrested the leaders of two alleged drug trafficking groups.

An Oregon State Police trooper found cocaine, heroin and suspected fentanyl pills during a traffic stop on I-5 in Lane County.

Mountain West

Scottsdale, Arizona resident Megan Macintosh announced the opening of The Well, a new source of mental health services for youth. Macintosh lost her son, Chase, to fentanyl poisoning after he took a counterfeit Percocet he bought on social media.

The Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission have filed suit to stop a Utah company from selling a saline nasal spray product with false claims that it can cure or treat COVID-19.

A federal judge in Colorado sentenced Victor Manuel Ortega-Ochoa to 41 months in prison for trafficking counterfeit oxycodone made with fentanyl.

U.S. Territories

The president and secretary of a Puerto Rico-based weight loss company pleaded guilty to mail fraud conspiracy for selling supplements adulterated with undeclared pharmaceuticals from 2018 through May 2021.The company purchased these products from suppliers in China and used Facebook and their website to sell them to buyers across the U.S.


A deputy health minister in Vietnam has been prosecuted for permitting a company to sell more than $2 million worth of fake medicine domestically in 2014.