CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A deadly pill mimicking prescription drugs is in Ohio. It’s called “blue fentanyl” and it looks just like a pill you might get from your doctor.
Agents with the Cleveland DEA said the pills resemble Oxycodone, but actually contain deadly levels of fentanyl.
According to the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office, fentanyl has already killed more than 200 people in Cuyahoga County this year alone. Cuyahoga County has also seen 1,320 more fentanyl-related deaths in the past 44 months than the entire decade prior.
“Right now it seems that’s one of the main drugs that they’re trafficking here in Ohio,” explained Cleveland DEA Acting Special Agent in Charge Keith Martin.
Martin said ‘blue fentanyl’ is being shipped in daily across the border into the U.S. by cartels. He said it’s likely traffickers have thousands of pills on them at a time, ready for distribution all across Northeast Ohio.
“We’re seeing it everywhere. It’s on the streets of Ohio. To say it’s in one community and not in another wouldn’t be accurate," Martin said.
It’s nearly impossible to tell the difference between the deadly drug and prescription pill just by looking at it.
“That’s what’s so dangerous about those pills. Again, they’re made so well that it takes a chemist to test those and find out if it’s actually Oxycodone or if it’s fentanyl,” Martin said.
That’s why the DEA is sending out a warning and encouraging people not to buy pills unless they’re from your pharmacy or doctor.
“Don’t take these pills, Martin said. He added, "you’re playing Russian roulette with your life.”
19 News recently learned more about a new federal program brought to Cleveland to curb drug trafficking and addiction. It’s called Cleveland 360. Click here to find out more.