The Georgia Bureau of Investigation has confirmed synthetic opioids are the two main ingredients of the deadly, counterfeit Percocet pills that circulated in Georgia and claimed up to four lives. The same drug has also caused a string of overdose cases in several communities since the beginning of June.
According to the GBI Crime Laboratory, a new fentanyl analogue and a still unidentified synthetic drug were combined to create a lethal drug that was passed off as a prescription painkiller. This is the first instance that the crime lab identified the fentanyl analogue. The second synthetic drug, on the other hand, may be a known synthetic drug but GBI is still verifying its identity.
"The fact that the GBI Crime Lab has never seen it is a very bold statement. We're essentially working it up from scratch," GBI office of public affairs director Nelly Miles said.
The crime lab says that it needs more time to process and correctly identify the other lethal drug component, but it assures the public that the analysis will remain a top priority even as state and federal law enforcement continue to investigate the pill's source.
Cases Of Counterfeit Drug Overdose
The Bibb County Sheriff's Office confirmed the string of overdose cases relating to the deadly yellow pills on June 7.
"The individuals that are involved in the drug trade, this may be their newest product. We need to know who's putting this poison in the community right now," Bibb County Sheriff David Davis said.
According to the authorities, the pills in question have the numbers 10/325 on the side and the name PERCOCET shallowly etched on the drug. Experts identified that the drug is a counterfeit because the name was imprinted at an angle.
No new cases of drug overdose caused by the counterfeit Percocet have been reported after the BCSO released its public awareness message on Facebook.
Local and federal agencies are collaborating in the investigation in order to put a stop to the fake drug's circulation, but authorities have not arrested anyone relating to the investigation as of writing.
Counterfeit Drugs In Georgia
This is not the first time that Georgia became the circulating grounds for lethal counterfeit pills. On May 30, the GBI also warned about "grey death" or "graveyard dead" circulating in communities. According to GBI Director Vernon Keenan, the counterfeit pills also contained fentanyl and fentanyl derivatives, making it a truly toxic substance.
Authorities urge anyone who may have come into contact with the drug to report to the BCSO immediately.