Las Vegas Man Sentenced To Prison For Distributing Fentanyl-Laced Counterfeit Pills

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FILE PHOTO: American flag waves outside the U.S. Department of Justice Building in Washington

LAS VEGAS — A Las Vegas man was sentenced on Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Andrew P. Gordon to 10 years in prison for distributing counterfeit pills that contained fentanyl – a powerful synthetic opioid – that resulted in the overdose death of another person.

Daniel Anguiano (43) pleaded guilty in June 2021, to distribution of a controlled substance, specifically fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl.

According to court documents, Anguiano distributed counterfeit oxycodone pills — containing fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl — to an individual who died after consuming the counterfeit pills.

Fentanyl is classified as Schedule II controlled substances, and acetyl fentanyl is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid drug that is approximately 80-100 times more potent than morphine and 50 times more potent than heroin. A few milligrams of fentanyl, which is equivalent to a few grains of table salt, may be deadly. Acetyl fentanyl is an analog of fentanyl that is 10-15 times more potent than morphine.

U.S. Attorney Jason M. Frierson for the District of Nevada and Assistant Special Agent in Charge Kevin Adams for the DEA made the announcement.

The DEA investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kimberly Sokolich prosecuted the case.

According to the CDC, 107,622 Americans died of drug poisoning in 2021, with 66 percent of those deaths involving synthetic opioids like fentanyl. 

In November, DEA issued a Public Safety Alert of a sharp nationwide increase in the lethality of fentanyl-laced fake prescription pills. The DEA Laboratory has found that, of the fentanyl-laced fake prescription pills analyzed in 2022, six out of ten now contain a potentially lethal dose of fentanyl. Through its One Pill Can Kill campaign, the DEA is working to alert the American public of the dangers of fake prescription pills. The only safe medications are ones prescribed by a trusted medical professional and dispensed by a licensed pharmacist. Any pills that do not meet this standard are unsafe and potentially deadly.

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