Prescription Pills: The #1 Drug Taken Off The Streets Of Spokane - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Prescription Pills: The #1 Drug Taken Off The Streets Of Spokane

Posted: Updated:

SPOKANE, Wash – In the wake of the DEA raid that broke up a $20 million dollar prescription drug ring, Spokane police say they make OxyContin busts in Spokane on the street level every week.

"Spokane is being flooded with pills.  We've probably got more people on the radar now and more current investigations for pills than we do any other drug," an undercover drug agent told KHQ's Kelsey Watts.

One 30 mg pill sells for between $22-30 on the street.  That's because they can be crushed or snorted, and are therefore the "pill of choice," while the larger 60 or 80 mg pills are now manufactured so they can't be broken down.

The #1 drug on the street used to be meth, the agent said, but in the last year or two it's turned to opiate pills.  The reason is because the price of heroin has gone down, and people who are addicted to it often cross over to pills.

They get them by stealing prescription pads and going to different pharmacies, buying them from patients who have leftovers, or stealing them.

"There are whole criminal enterprises that are gathering pills in California and shipping them up here because in California they're selling for $7-10 dollars, but they're selling for $25-30 dollars here, so there's a lot of money to be made," the agent said.

Now that the DEA bust has been made, police are warning local pharmacies that there may be an uptick in robberies as people who are hooked look for another source of the drug.  There is reward money being offered for information that leads to the arrest of such suspects.

"It isn't just your druggers who are running around trying to take OxyConton, it could be someone who could be just like your neighbor, a normal person, who is exposed to it legitimately then becomes addicted," said Spokane Police Captain Frank Scalise.

Scalise added:

"I've been with Spokane PD for almost 20 years and I'm pretty comfortable saying I've not found too many criminals who only do one crime ever, and who only do one kind of crime ever.  They tend to multi-task in that department. They tend to do whatever crime is the greatest opportunity."

  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • PHOTOS: Do you know who this burglary suspect is?

    PHOTOS: Do you know who this burglary suspect is?

    Thursday, August 21 2014 2:25 PM EDT2014-08-21 18:25:51 GMT
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - Detectives with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office are asking for you help finding a man they believe broke into a home, stole credit and debit cards, and then used those cards to purchase hundreds of dollars worth of items. More >>
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. - Detectives with the Spokane County Sheriff's Office are asking for you help finding a man they believe broke into a home, stole credit and debit cards, and then used those cards to purchase hundreds of dollars worth of items. More >>
  • The Salvation Army to give away 5,000 backpacks

    The Salvation Army to give away 5,000 backpacks

    Thursday, August 21 2014 2:05 PM EDT2014-08-21 18:05:47 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The doors to The Salvation Army's annual Backpacks for Kids Distribution and Resource Fair opened at 9am on Thursday, and by 10am, they had already handed out 838 backpacks filled with school supplies to children in Spokane County. More >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - The doors to The Salvation Army's annual Backpacks for Kids Distribution and Resource Fair opened at 9am on Thursday, and by 10am, they had already handed out 838 backpacks filled with school supplies to children in Spokane County. The Salvation Army is anticipating giving away up to 5,000 backpacks on Thursday. They are located at 222 E. Indiana Avenue and are open until 6pm.More >>
  • Doctor: No health risk from 2 US Ebola patients

    Doctor: No health risk from 2 US Ebola patients

    Thursday, August 21 2014 1:55 PM EDT2014-08-21 17:55:21 GMT
    ATLANTA - A doctor at the hospital that treated two American aid workers who were infected with the deadly Ebola virus in Africa says their discharge poses no public health risk.More >>
    ATLANTA - A doctor at the hospital that treated two American aid workers who were infected with the deadly Ebola virus in Africa says their discharge poses no public health risk. Officials announced the release of Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol on Thursday. Brantly left Emory University Hospital on Thursday. Writebol left Tuesday. Family and officials say they're free of the virus. More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and KHQ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.