January 31, 2022: NY nurses allegedly sold $1.5 million in fake vaccine cards

Amityville Vaxcard Horror: 2 nurses allegedly made $1.5 million in just three months.

The nurse practitioner and owner of an Amityville, New York pediatric clinic and a nurse colleague were charged with forging COVID-19 vaccination cards and entering the false information into New York's statewide database. A ledger allegedly documented profits totaling more than $1.5 million.

Although the scale of this scheme is extraordinary, people in Michigan, New Jersey, and South Carolina have been charged with similar crimes.

More in the northeast

Leandro Rodriguez of Allentown, Pennsylvania was sentenced to a year and eight months in prison for importing sibutramine and tadalafil from China and selling them as herbal supplements at flea markets and over the internet.

In the South

Dylan Holcomb of Washington, North Carolina received a 20-year prison sentence for making fentanyl pills disguised as Xanax and Oxycodone  and selling them on the dark web.

Dakota Shadoe Tunnell of Marion, Virginia, who pleaded guilty to selling fake oxycodone pills made with fentanyl in November 2021, was sentenced to 48 months in prison.

The Dallas,Texas Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) announced the conclusion of Operation Shutdown Corner, which culminated in the arrest of 20 people and the seizure of 220 pounds of drugs, including fentanyl pills, 37 guns and more than $400,000 in assets. Related busts took place in Oklahoma City, Los Angeles and Bakersfield, California.

Aaron Singerman of Delray Beach, Florida received a 54-month sentence for importing steroids, controlled substances and unapproved drugs and selling them as safe and legal dietary supplements. Singerman, who was the CEO of Blackstone Labs, will also forfeit $2.9 million.

In the Mountain West

Sheriff’s deputies in Washington County, Utah seized more than 5,000 grams of fentanyl pills during a traffic stop on Interstate 15.

Arizona’s Department of Public Safety found five pounds of fentanyl pills in a multidrug seizure during a traffic stop in Marana.

A 21-year-old resident of Longmont, Colorado is facing manslaughter and drug charges for allegedly selling counterfeit oxycodone pills made with fentanyl that killed a woman in Lafayette in March 2020.

The DEA’s Denver, Colorado Division warned that the office had discovered counterfeit oxycodone and fake Adderall in the last six months of 2021.

Fentanyl pills seized in Marana, Arizona in January 2022 (Arizona Department of Public Safety)

In the Midwest

Police arrested three residents of Decatur, Indiana for allegedly selling fake oxycodone and fentanyl pills.

A Scottsbluff, Nebraska man is facing possession with intent to distribute charges after police allegedly found him carrying methamphetamine, heroin and fentanyl pills.


In the Pacific West

In California, 19-year-old Fabian Garcia-Palacio of Fresno will spend three years in prison for distributing fake oxycodone pills to a high school student who suffered fentanyl poisoning after taking one pill in March 2021. The student survived but required medical treatment.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office charged a 16-year-old with murder for selling an “M-30” pill to a 12-year-old San Jose resident who died of fentanyl poisoning on November 14, 2020. It’s the second time the Santa Clara County DA’s Office has charged a drug dealer with murder.

The California Highway Patrol says that the 75 pounds of counterfeit pills made with fentanyl they seized during a traffic stop in Merced is the largest fentanyl bust in San Joaquin Valley history.

The Salinas Police Department reported the seizure of 65,500 fentanyl pills over the course of a month-long investigation.

International News

Greece’s Financial Police Directorate and Europol dismantled a drug trafficking group that had allegedly been selling anabolic steroids and counterfeit pharmaceuticals acquired from China and Eastern Europe since 2017.

Over the last six years ago fake pills made with fentanyl have gone from rare to ever-present.  PSM's "Fentanyl Has Changed the Fake Drug Landscape" explains how things have changed over the years.