Eastern Idaho police warn of dangerous, fake pain killers

July 30, 2021 GMT

POCATELLO, Idaho (AP) — Police in eastern Idaho are warning residents that counterfeit pain pills laced with a dangerous synthetic opioid have been found in the region.

The Pocatello Police Department said a bag of about 3,000 pills that contained fentanyl — but that were disguised to look like less-potent oxycodone — were found at a local trailhead on Thursday. Investigators fear the pills could cause lethal overdoses.

“These pills are extremely dangerous and essentially impossible to discern as being fake or legitimate by appearance alone,” said Pocatello Police Capt. Bill Collins. “We have seen lots of overdoses in our area because of fentanyl, which we have found laced with methamphetamine, heroin and other pills. We don’t want anyone touching them and we certainly don’t want anyone to ingest them.”

Collins said the Pacific Northwest region has been “inundated” with similar pills in recent months “but we haven’t seen them left out in the open in this quantity before.”

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The 3,000 or so pills — with a street value Collins said is somewhere around $60,000 — are colored and marked to resemble Oxycodone 30mg, a commonly prescribed medication for chronic or severe pain. Fentanyl is a controlled substance about 100 times more potent than morphine that is usually used to treat patients with chronic or severe pain after a surgery.