Auburn police warn of counterfeit fentanyl pills

AUBURN, Ala. (WTVM) – Three suspects were arrested by Auburn police last week on multiple drug-related charges.

Authorities recovered heroin, cocaine, psilocybin, mushrooms, marijuana and a very deadly drug, fentanyl, which was crushed into a Xanax-like pill.

News Leader 9 spoke with an Auburn deputy chief about how deadly fentanyl can be and the dangers of buying counterfeit drugs on the street.

The Auburn Police Department mean business. With the recent arrest, they made the number of counterfeit pills they found containing fentanyl could have killed several people. However, officials say one pill can kill.

“Fentanyl is the deadliest drug threat our country has ever faced.”

From January 2021 to January 2022, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reported that more than 107,000 people in the United States died from opioid-related deaths.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that can be prescribed for pain, but not for this. According to the Drug Enforcement Administration, illegally manufactured fentanyl enters the United States through Mexican borders.

“If you push this poison into our community, we have zero tolerance for it.”

Auburn Deputy Police Chief Michael Harris says this situation is becoming increasingly dangerous as drug dealers add fentanyl to various drugs, making them even more dangerous.

“As we encountered last week, they even squeeze it, you know, in pill form to make it look like Xanax.”

On July 7, the Auburn Police Department arrested three suspects between the ages of 20 and 22 on multiple drug-related charges, one of the drugs resembling Xanax mixed with Fentanyl.

If the pills contain more than 2 milligrams of fentanyl, that amount can kill you.

Director of Operations for EMS Austin Bayles says if someone overdoses on Fentanyl to call 911, a dispatcher will provide information on what to do until medical help arrives.

“Roll them on their side, protect the airways and make sure you know they’re breathing properly.”

Ultimately, if you’re buying drugs on the street, you really don’t know what you’re getting. For example, 42% of pills tested in the past year by DEA labs contained fentanyl.

Harris says he will ensure that people who sell Fentanyl are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

“If we get any information that people are selling something that is suspected of containing fentanyl, everything else shuts down for our narcotics section, and we focus our full attention on that threat because that is exactly what she is, a threat. If those pills made the rounds on the streets, someone might have died. We are not going to allow this to happen, or we are going to do our best to prevent it from happening.

To submit an anonymous report to the Auburn Police Department, click here.

For more information on counterfeit pills, click here.

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