CLEVELAND — An Akron man is facing federal charges for allegedly creating fake Percocet by stamping pills containing fentanyl with tools ordered from China.
Denyea Nelson, 42, has been indicted on the following charges:
- Possession of die used to manufacture counterfeit substance
- Possession of equipment to manufacture a controlled substance
- Possession of a firearm in furtherance of drug trafficking
- Possession with intent to distribute fentanyl
- Possession with intent to distribute fentanyl analogues
Nelson allegedly ordered pill press parts from China that enabled him to stamp pills to look like acetaminophen, oxycodone, hydrochloride, or the common name of Percocet, authorities said.
In early January, authorities intercepted a package that was ordered and made a controlled delivery at Nelson’s residence. Nelson's home was raided after he signed for the package.
During the raid, authorities said they found various items “consistent with a pill press operation,” along with .45 caliber handgun. Authorities also found numerous capsules and powders. Among the items recovered, they found fentanyl, methamphetamine, butyrfentanyl and 4-ANPP.
Last year, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner's Office issued a warning when fentanyl-laced fake Percocet pills were found circulating in Northeast Ohio. Authorities called it an "immediate threat to the public health safety, causing a heightened concern for potentially fatal overdoses."
“This case is a stark reminder that people who buy drugs on the street have no idea what they are putting into their body,” said U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman. “This defendant was pressing pills to look like Percocet, but his home was filled with deadly fentanyl, fentanyl analogues and other drugs. I am confident this arrest saved lives.”
“Opioid trafficking continues to be among HSI’s highest investigative priorities,” said Homeland Security Investigations’ Special Agent in Charge Steve Francis. “These deadly drugs pose an extremely serious threat to public safety in our communities. HSI and our partners will be relentless in our effort to bring traffickers of this poison to justice.”