AUGUST 25 – MORGANTOWN – Members of the Mon Morgantown Drug and Violent Crime Task Force removed half a pound of colored “rainbow fentanyl” from the streets last week, according to U.S. Attorney William Ihlenfeld for the Northern District of West Virginia.
On Wednesday morning, members of the task force and the Morgantown Police Department and Ihlenfeld held a press conference to discuss the incident and how fentanyl is being introduced to the public. Although police did not provide an estimated sales value of the fentanyl, they said about 15,000 pills were seized.
“The Morgantown Police Department really recognizes that this is a very impactful thing that is happening in our communities and we are really doing our best and working our hardest to ensure that this prevents this from happening to a greater degree,” said the Chief of Police. Morgantown Police, Eric. said Powell.
The seized pills were stamped M/30, like a conventional oxycodone pill, and are believed to be from Mexico, then smuggled into California, before reaching West Virginia. Fentanyl in pill form is the best quality they’ve ever seen, and its sweet color makes them deceptive, Ihlenfeld said.
“These pills are part of a new trend that we’re seeing where they’re colored — that they’re safe to take, that they’re oxycodone when they really aren’t. They contain some amount of fentanyl, what that amount is, it’s hard to say. , right? The user doesn’t know exactly what he or she is taking,” Ihlenfeld said.
Officers also seized cocaine, crystal methamphetamine and powdered fentanyl during the incident. Ihlenfeld said the charges will be announced in the future.
Ihlenfeld said federal officials are focused on stopping the spread before it reaches West Virginia and other cities in the state. Because Morgantown is a college town, it is a target of the cartel, Ihlenfeld said.
“The word of the day is deceit. The cartels are very good at this – they are deceiving the public to make a profit and the profits they make are spectacular. Their marketing efforts are brilliant, as much as I don’t like to give them credit , they really know how to market to people here in America. These cartels are our enemies and we have to know what they are doing so we can respond accordingly and support people in our family and community,” Ihlenfeld said.
Azeem Khan, co-chair of West Virginia University’s Mountaineer Fentanyl Education Task Force, also discussed what the university is doing to prevent drug incidents. Khan said WVU students are an easy target. Khan said he’s heard from a lot of students that they want to get high but they don’t want to die and the reality with fentanyl, or any counterfeit pill, is that you can.
“We are working hard every day to try to educate our entire community here about how dangerous it is. Last year, over 70,000 Americans died from fentanyl poisoning, which is enough to fill the entire Mylan Puskar Stadium and nearly fill the Colosseum, too. So that really puts it into perspective — how dangerous this drug is,” Khan said.
Ihlenfeld said that to stay safe, don’t consume anything that isn’t from your doctor or pharmacist.
“I think we should assume and what would you say to someone who you think might be more likely to look for a pill like this, that if you’re getting a pill from someone other than your doctor, other than a pharmacy, just assume containing fentanyl,” Ihlenfeld said.
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