DEA: Significant increase in counterfeit pills in Minnesota

The Drug Enforcement Administration’s Minneapolis/St. Paul office says it has seen a significant increase in the number of counterfeit pills entering Minnesota.

According to the DEA, the pills are believed to be entering the state from drug trafficking organizations in California, Arizona and Mexico.

Minnesota agents have recovered about 46,000 counterfeit pills in the first seven months of the year, nearly four times what was seized in all of 2019, the DEA said. The agency added that the trend really began back in 2018 and has increased since.

The counterfeit pain pills and sedatives have flooded the illegal drug market and are leading to a significant number of overdose deaths, the DEA said.

The DEA said Minnesota’s counterfeit pills have been hidden in coffee beans and candy, smuggled underneath cars and shipped through mail services.

The most common counterfeit pill in the state is an oxycodone substitute.

"Please educate your high school and college-age kids on the extreme dangers of counterfeit medications," Omaha Division Special Agent in Charge Richard Salter Jr. said. "Too often, the overdose victims are young and are not prior drug abusers. They went to a party and someone offered them a pill to relax them — then they died. Too many American parents have had to bury their children as a result of drug overdose."