CLEVELAND — The Drug Enforcement Administration is issuing a warning about pills being sold illegally on the streets.
“It can kill you,” said DEA Assistant Special Agent in Charge Keith Martin.
An influx of fake Oxycodone and Percocet pills are pouring into Northeast Ohio. The potential problem that News 5 reported on a few months ago has now turned into a troubling trend for law enforcement.
DEA Agents have seized thousand of the pills in the past several months.
"Probably 30,000,” said Martin. “We know they are coming in from Mexico and the cartels are pushing them up here."
The fake painkillers are laced with the dangerous and potentially deadly drug Fentanyl.
The problem is not only in Cuyahoga County.
Both Lake and Lorain counties have seen a continual spike in the tainted drugs.
So far this year, the Lorain County Crime Lab says the number of cases has surpassed all the cases for 2018. The Lake County Crime Lab says they have had two cases of the fake pills in as many weeks.
“Every time we seize thousands of Fentanyl pills, it sends a message to the cartel, if you send them to Ohio, we are going to take them, seize them and lock up your people,” said Martin.
The fake pills can not be identified just by sight.
“Those pills are made so well from the cartel that it takes a chemist to test it to find out if it’s Fentanyl of not,” said Martin.
“We have seen a progression the way they operate. The cartels were sending up heroin laced with Fentanyl, now it’s pills laced with Fentanyl,” said Martin.