MIAMI – The Drug Enforcement Administration is warning everyone about counterfeit prescription pills manufactured in Mexico containing lethal doses of fentanyl.

The DEA says Mexican drug cartels are manufacturing mass quantities of pills containing the dangerous synthetic opioid, that is lethal in minute doses, for distribution throughout North America.

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The DEA found that 27 percent of tablets seized nationwide between January and March 2019, contained potentially lethal doses of fentanyl.

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“Capitalizing on the opioid epidemic and prescription drug abuse in the United States, drug trafficking organizations are now sending counterfeit pills made with fentanyl in bulk to the United States for distribution,” said DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon. “Counterfeit pills that contain fentanyl and fentanyl-laced heroin are responsible for thousands of opioid-related deaths in the United States each year.”

“Like clockwork, drug trafficking organizations have taken another turn in the wrong direction with their illicit distribution of fentanyl,” said Miami Field Division Special Agent in Charge Adolphus P. Wright. “The creation of counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl will only increase to worsen the ever-present opioid crisis which will undoubtedly cause more deaths in Florida and the rest of the nation. The Miami Filed Division remains committed and will continue to work beside our law enforcement partners to combat this new component and keep our communities safe.”

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Most cases of fentanyl-related harm, overdose, and death in the U.S. are linked to illegally made fentanyl, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.