February 7, 2022: PSM sponsors webinar on family advocacy opportunities

Fentanyl poisoning deaths from counterfeit pills have become tragically common since 2015, claiming lives in all 50 states. The pills have infiltrated the black market prescription drug supply on the street, on the dark web and on social media, killing people—often teens and young adults—who believe that they are purchasing painkillers or Xanax. This week, PSM added Kansas and Mississippi to the list of states where someone had died after ordering drugs on Snapchat.

Watch our two-minute summary of this week's fentanyl news.

PSM knows that families who have been hurt by the fentanyl crisis want action. On February 2nd we held a one-hour webinar to discuss advocacy opportunities and federal legislation such as the DRUGS Act, which could make positive change.

Watch it here.

In the northeast

A man in Burlington Township, New Jersey is facing charges for allegedly selling the counterfeit pills made with fentanyl that killed 29-year-old Johnathon Mariano of Florence.

Bryan Vinales of Waterbury, Connecticut received a five-year prison sentence for his role in a 17-person drug trafficking ring that sold heroin and fentanyl, some of which was in the form of counterfeit Percocet pills.

In the South

Ponte Vedra, Florida resident Timothy DeJoris will pay $2,500 and serve six months’ probation for importing and distributing a mislabeled erectile dysfunction drug from China. The product, which was available in Jacksonville area stores, on a website, and on Amazon and eBay, netted more than $450,000 on Amazon in the first seven months of 2019.

Justin De Neko Cunningham of Rock Hill, South Carolina received a 15-year federal prison sentence for selling thousands of counterfeit Roxicodone pills made with fentanyl in Rock Hill, Myrtle Beach, and Charlotte.

Cara Naber of Oldham County, Kentucky got 15-months for laundering drug money for her son, John Frank Naber III, who made and sold fake Adderall pills made with meth on the dark web. She'll also pay more than $500,000 in fines and forfeitures.

Learn more about counterfeit Adderall made with methamphetamine, which has been an escalating problem in recent years. 

In Jackson, Mississippi, Carlos Dominique Allen was found guilty of selling fentanyl and hydrocodone and possession of amphetamine. Investigators found that Allen was the source of counterfeit pain pills that led to a Madison County poisoning death.

The Mississippi House of Representatives passed House Bill 607 which would add fentanyl delivery resulting in death to the state’s criminal code, with a penalty of 20 years to life. Several family members attended the presentation of the bill, including Sam and April Brown, who lost their son, Sam Brown, Jr., to a counterfeit Percocet purchased on Snapchat in September 2020.

Oklahoma City Sheriff’s deputies confiscated 32,000 fentanyl pills they found under the front seat of a vehicle that they had pulled over for speeding.

In the Mountain West

Pinal County Sheriff's deputies seized 227,000 fentanyl pills hidden in large pans of food during a traffic stop near Casa Grande, Arizona.

Police in Phoenix arrested a man after finding 35,000 fentanyl pills and $300,000 in cash in his home.

The DEA arrested three people for allegedly distributing methamphetamine and fake oxycodone pills suspected to contain fentanyl from a car dealership in Phoenix, Arizona. Investigators seized 4,000 suspected fentanyl pills on the site.

Authorities in St. George, Utah arrested two Coloradans after a K-9 found 11 pounds of fentanyl pills in their car during a traffic stop.

Havre, Montana resident Brandon Wayne Glover will serve 10 years in federal prison for drug trafficking and firearms crimes after law enforcement found methamphetamine, fentanyl pills, a gun and $12,000 in his motel room.

Pinal County, Arizona police found bags of fentanyl pills hidden in these pans of food. (Pinal County Sheriff's Office)  

In the Midwest

A Calumet City, Illinois resident is facing federal drug charges after law enforcement officials say they found fentanyl and a pill press in his home.

The Detroit Division of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) reported that officers had seized more than 2,000 counterfeit pills in central Ohio in the past three months.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in St. Louis seized more than 2,000 illegally imported erectile dysfunction pills on their way from Singapore to residences in Missouri.

Meanwhile CBP officers at the Port of Cincinnati have seized 21 shipments that contained more than 32,000 illegally imported Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra pills since January 1st. The drugs, which came from China, India, Malaysia, and Sudan, were headed to nine states, including Indiana and Kentucky.

In the Pacific West

The U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of California announced the guilty pleas of Renato Aguilera of Porterville and Keisean Rockmore of Bakersfield, both of whom sold counterfeit pills made with fentanyl.