DEA warns public of deadly fentanyl-laced counterfeit prescription pills

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The Drug Enforcement Administration is warning the American public of an increase in counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl in the New England area.

The DEA issued a warning Monday and pointed blame at the Mexican drug cartel in a press release.

"Mexican drug cartels are manufacturing mass quantities of counterfeit prescription pills containing fentanyl, a dangerous synthetic opioid that is lethal in minute doses, for distribution throughout North America," the release states.

The new warning from the DEA comes as Connecticut is on pace for more opioid-related overdose deaths in 2019 compared to last year.

They say 27% of the pills they seized between January and March had a potentially deadly dose of the synthetic opioid.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner reported that 423 people in Connecticut died between January and June from overdoses involving fentanyl.

Overdose deaths involving fentanyl have increased in Connecticut every year since 2012, according to the OCME.

Seventy eight percent of the fatal opioid overdoses in the first half of 2019 have involved fentanyl.

The New England DEA says it is working with state and local police to get fentanyl off the streets and to hold manufacturers and dealers accountable.

The Stamford Police Department has an officer assigned to the regional DEA task force.

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