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PUBLIC RELATIONS UNIT
March 23, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact Information: PolicePRUnit@slcgov.com
SLCPD Seeing Increase in Fake Prescription Pills Containing Fentanyl, Warns of Dangers
SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake City Police Department is reminding community members about the dangers associated with fentanyl, a potent synthetic opioid drug, after seeing an increase in the recovery of pills containing the dangerous drug.
“Our officers and detectives assigned to our Special Investigations Unit are working tirelessly to help reduce the amount of these dangerous drugs in our community,” said SLCPD Chief Mike Brown. “Even the slightest exposure to fentanyl can have deadly consequences.”
Since February 23, 2023, the Salt Lake City Police Department recovered almost 1,000 “M30” pills that are commonly laced with fentanyl.
Recently, at 9:45 a.m. on Tuesday, March 22, 2023, officers assigned to the Liberty Division Bike Squad stopped a SUV near 900 West Indiana Avenue for a moving violation.
While speaking with the driver, later identified as 48-year-old Fetelini Sekona, officers smelled marijuana.
During a search of the SUV, officers recovered marijuana, packages of blue M30 pills, cocaine, methamphetamine, and a large amount of pre-packaged edibles containing THC.
According to the United States Department of Justice, “M30s” are fake prescription pills that when sold on the street, are routinely found to contain measurable amounts of fentanyl. The pills are usually round tablets and light blue in color. However, they may be found in different shapes and an assortment of colors.
Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is added to fake pills. Fentanyl continues to be a driving factor in the alarming increase of overdoses nationwide.
When added to pills, fentanyl can be impossible for the human eye to detect or differentiate between an authentic pill. Fentanyl is 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine.
The SLCPD recommends people never accept or take a pill that hasn’t been directly prescribed to them by a licensed physician.
Signs of a fentanyl overdose include blue lips or blue fingertips, unresponsive to sternal rub, body stiffening, foaming at mouth, and confusion.
Naloxone is a medicine that SLCPD officers carry while on duty. It can treat a fentanyl overdose. Naloxone works by rapidly binding to opioid receptors and blocking the effects of opioid drugs.
For more information about fake pills, go to https://www.dea.gov/onepill.
Officers booked Sekona into the Salt Lake County Metro Jail on three felony counts of Possession of a Controlled Substance, one misdemeanor count of Possession of a Controlled Substance, and Failure to Operate Within a Single Lane.
Charges are only allegations, and every arrested person is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Photos of recent seizures are being released. Media may use these photos with proper credit to the Salt Lake City Police Department.