The Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office says 3,500 deadly pills were seized, containing counterfeit Oxycodone laced with Fentanyl, recently during an undercover drug operation.
MCSO says on August 30, 2017, officers set up a meeting between undercover detectives and 26-year-old Jesus Madueno to “purchase” the Fentanyl laced pills.
Once it was apparent Madueno actually had the pills, he was arrested without incident. Tests on the counterfeit Oxycodone pills were positive for Fentanyl.
"Fentanyl is highly toxic. This action undoubtedly saved lives. Coming into contact with extremely small amounts can kill you," said Maricopa County Sheriff Paul Penzone. "The use of Fentanyl compounds the risks to opioid users and to first responders who make contact with it unknowingly."
MCSO says drug traffickers will lace Fentanyl with synthetic opioids to allow them to make more pills.
Fentanyl has just recently made its way to the southwest area of the United States, and was first found in the southeastern and midwestern portions of the country.
MCSO says they’re in the process of training deputies to use Narcan, a drug used to counteract the deadly effects of Fentanyl.
"The opioid epidemic is horrific and when Fentanyl is added to the cocktail it's even worse," said Sheriff Penzone. "MCSO is committed through enforcement and education to protecting our communities from those who traffic in these substances."