DEA Seizures of Heroin and Fentanyl Increase Across North Dakota in 2020
OMAHA, Neb. –Seizures of fentanyl and heroin made by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in North Dakota increased in 2020 with investigators seeing a 223 percent increase from 2019 in the two drugs combined.
Fentanyl, estimated at approximately 100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin, was seized by DEA for the first time in North Dakota since 2016. Found primarily in counterfeit pills, but on occasion in powder form, just two milligrams of fentanyl, or the equivalent of a few grains of salt, is considered a lethal dose.
“The people making these counterfeit pills are by no means careful in their measurements,” DEA Omaha Division Special Agent in Charge Justin C. King said. “While one pill from a single batch may contain 1 milligram of fentanyl, another may contain a lethal dose. We’re seeing an increase in counterfeit pills in North Dakota and we want people to know the risk they take by using these illicit drugs.”
The DEA’s Fentanyl Signature Profiling Program found that 26 percent of illicit fentanyl pills examined in 2019 contained potentially lethal doses of fentanyl. Counterfeit pills can be difficult to distinguish from legitimate medications and are often marketed as M30s, Perc30s, Blues or Mexican Oxy. The DEA stresses that the surest way to know that your medication is legitimate is to have it prescribed or given by a doctor or picked up at a pharmacy.
Marijuana was the number one drug seized in North Dakota in 2020 at 11.5 kilograms, with methamphetamine seizures ranking second at 9 kilograms seized.
The DEA Omaha Division is a five state territory that includes Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota as well as counties along the western border of Illinois and Wisconsin.