OK: Investigators seize thousands of fentanyl pills intended for Oklahoma prison

Investigators with the Oklahoma Office of the Inspector General seized 2,500 fentanyl pills they say were intended for an Oklahoma prison.

The drugs were seized as part of an ongoing effort to prevent the smuggling of contraband into prisons, according to a news release from the Oklahoma State Department of Corrections. Using intelligence gathered by agents from the Criminal Interdiction Division, investigators with the United States Postal Service located the drugs inside a sorting facility in Oklahoma City.

On July 5, a team of investigators with the inspector general and the Postal Service intercepted the package and seized it as evidence. The package listed a return address in Bowling Green, Kentucky, but the team believes the sender used an alias.

“The intelligence-gathering efforts of the Criminal Interdiction Division of the OIG continue to deliver results that protect inmates, staff, and the public,” Corrections Department Director Scott Crow said.

According to the news release, the inspector general’s office estimated the value of the pills could have been at least $125,000 inside the prison.

The pills were stamped “M30” ― a sign they were counterfeit oxycodone, making them even more deadly. Fentanyl, which is 80 to 100 times more powerful than morphine, has been cited as the primary drug fueling a nationwide epidemic of overdoses.

Experts say criminal drug networks have been cheaply producing fake oxycodone pills and marketing them as legitimate to increase their own profit margins. Because of this deception, fentanyl-laced drugs are easy to purchase and widely available, especially to younger individuals through social media and other e-commerce markets.

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Fentanyl-laced drugs can increase a user’s high, which also can drive a dependency on the drug and its supplier, but illicit production of fentanyl also can be extremely lethal. Even a microscopic dose of fentanyl is enough to kill an adult, so any pill containing the substance is potentially deadly.

“There’s no doubt this seizure saved lives,” Crow said. “Not only will we avoid inmates overdosing in a facility, but we have removed a dangerously valuable commodity from the inmate population, one which would otherwise be used to control people and incite violence.”

An investigation into the package of pills has been opened, but no charges have been filed.

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Tags: Opioid Crisis

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