February 14, 2022: Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking report released

RAND Corporation published the Final Report of the Commission on Combating Synthetic Opioid Trafficking, which summarizes the fentanyl crisis and makes recommendations for a federal response. Read it here.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned that tianeptine, an unapproved drug that is often sold as a supplement in the U.S., had been linked to agitation, drowsiness, confusion, rapid heartbeat, high blood pressure, nausea, slowed or stopped breathing, coma, and death.

The FDA also moved forward on the implementation of the Drug Supply Chain Security Act by issuing a proposed rule on national standards for licensing wholesale drug distributors and third-party logistics providers.

Blueprint to stop fentanyl: A new report defines the government's next steps.

In the northeast

Shawn Pondillo of Rensselaer, New York, pleaded guilty to distributing fentanyl pills.

Henry Arnaut of Providence, Rhode Island pleaded guilty to possessing cocaine and 100 fentanyl pills with intent to distribute.

In the South

In Georgia, the Columbia County District Attorney charged a man with murder for allegedly providing the counterfeit pills made with fentanyl that killed 28-year-old Alex King in 2020 and Chase Wheeless’s mother shared the story of his fentanyl pill poisoning death  in November 2021 to warn others who may be experimenting with pills.

The sheriff’s office in El Paso, Texas reported the deaths of five separate jail inmates since June 2021; at least two of which may have been the result of counterfeit pills made with fentanyl.

A Rock Hill, South Carolina man is facing drug charges after York County Multijurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit agents seized almost 2,000 fentanyl pills from him during a search.

Police in Panama City, Florida seized 2,500 fentanyl pills and other drugs during a traffic stop.

In the Midwest

Ja'hvont Payne of Omaha, Nebraska received a five-year federal prison sentence for fentanyl pill distribution. Police found more than 1,000 fentanyl pills while they were investigating a fentanyl poisoning death in an apartment where he was staying.

Drug Enforcement Administration agents searched a property in Detroit and arrested nine people who allegedly possessed with intent to distribute controlled substances, including counterfeit fentanyl pills.

In the Mountain West

Police in Boulder, Colorado discovered a pill press and unknown powdered substances when they responded to a domestic violence call.

A Las Vegas, Nevada man has been charged with buying 10,000 fentanyl pills to sell across the Las Vegas Valley,

Iron County, Idaho sheriff’s deputies seized between 200 and 300 counterfeit pills made with fentanyl during a traffic stop.

Idaho has seen a surprising uptick in counterfeit pill activity in recent years. Catch up on recent news in the state, or find your own state page.

In the Pacific West

Siskiyou County, California sheriff’s deputies one-and-three-quarter pounds of fentanyl pills and ten pounds of methamphetamine during a traffic stop.

International News

Mexico’s Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris), warned that it had found nine batches of counterfeit Keytruda, a medicine that treats patients with metastatic or non-removable melanoma and lung cancer.

Police in Uttarakhand, India busted a fake medicine operation that was manufacturing antibacterial and hypertension drugs.