DUTCHESS COUNTY – A sharp increase in counterfeit prescription pills containing fentanyl has surfaced throughout Dutchess County and law enforcement is working to get the drugs off the streets.
“The members of the Dutchess County Drug Task Force have been working to halt the flow of the counterfeit Oxycodone pills into the region,” County Sheriff Kirk Imperati said. He told Mid-Hudson News that the task force has seized several thousand counterfeit prescription pills containing fentanyl, through the course of their investigations, since January of this year.
“In September alone, the task force seized more than 2,000 counterfeit prescription pills,” Imperati stated.
Sheriff Detective Sergeant Adam Harris, speaking of the counterfeit pills, said, “These pills are typically light blue in color and imprinted “M-30″ in an effort to imitate real prescription 30mg Oxycodone pills” while noting that “Counterfeit 30mg oxycodone pills in various colors containing fentanyl were recently seized in other areas of New York State.”
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is similar to morphine but is 50 to 100 times more potent. According to the federal Drug Enforcement Administration, as little as two milligrams of fentanyl can be lethal. According to the CDC, 107,622 Americans died of drug overdoses in 2021, with 66 percent of those deaths related to synthetic opioids like fentanyl. In 2021, the Dutchess County Drug Task Force recorded more than 100 fatal drug overdose deaths within Dutchess County with fentanyl being involved in an overwhelming amount of cases.
“The increase of the pills in the region is placing our community at risk and I am working diligently with the Dutchess County Drug Rask Force to eradicate the problem and keep our community safe,” Imperati said.
If anyone has information about individuals selling drugs including fentanyl you are urged to contact the Drug Task Force confidential tip line at 845-463-6040 or by sending an email to DrugTaskForceTips@gmail.com