Seized Fentanyl Pills (Source: Maine Law Enforcement Authorities)
In February 2022, law enforcement authorities in Cumberland County,
Maine seized methamphetamine as well as green and purple-colored pills that were shaped as candy or vitamin-like alien heads and hand grenades. Field testing revealed that the pills contained fentanyl.
The utilization of characters and coloring may be a way to increase appeal to a younger/broader market. Moreover, the use of fentanyl/fentanyl-laced pills and methamphetamine by a larger market increases the likelihood of fatal overdoses.
The Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has identified a direct link between fentanyl-related overdose deaths and criminal drug networks in Mexico that mass-produce illicit fentanyl and fentanyl-laced counterfeit pills, using chemicals sourced largely from China, which are then distributed in the United States. Lab analysis conducted by the DEA has showed that four out of ten counterfeit pills contain at least two milligrams of fentanyl-an amount that is considered to be a lethal.
This information is being distributed to highlight public health concerns associated with counterfeit fentanyl and fentanyl-laced pills following the February 2022 seizure in Maine.
For additional information regarding counterfeit pills, please contact DEA Portland, Maine Group Supervisor Robert Prouty at Robert.P.Prouty@dea.gov. For additional community resources, visit https://www.getsmartaboutdrugs.gov/wake-up-maine or contact DEA Portland Maine Community Outreach Specialist Eriko Farnsworth at