YAKIMA, WA - A deadly drug laced with fentanyl has been found in the Yakima area. This counterfeit pill has taken the lives of several people, and the sheriff's office wants everyone to be aware so they are not the next victim.
The blue pill with a number "30" on one side and the letter "M" on the other has been linked to three deaths in Yakima.
"It's a counterfeit pill, designed to be oxycodone, but it's not oxycodone at all and it's laced with a potentially fatal amount of fentanyl," said Casey Schilperoort, spokesperson for the Yakima County Sheriff's Office.
The Yakima County coroner is the one who made the connection and alerted law enforcement. Yakima County Sheriff's says this drug is spread all over the county, making it difficult to trace.
"Most of the time it comes from Mexico, but we haven't been able to pinpoint exactly which batch it's from and who is actually dealing it," said Schilperoort.
Marty Brueggemann, the chief medical officer at Virginia Mason Memorial, says anything laced with fentanyl can kill someone within a matter of minutes.
"It's a synthetic opioid so it's in the same family as morphine and heroin and some of the others," said Brueggemann. "The thing with fentanyl that makes it potentially dangerous is it's incredibly potent and so it's about 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine, and that's where we kinda get into trouble in some places."
Brueggemann also says this is not his first time hearing about drugs laced with fentanyl in the area.
"Every once in a while you get a batch that kinda come into town, you get kind of a rash of overdoses I can think of a couple times in just the last three, four years were that's happened here in Yakima," said Brueggemann.
Both Schilperoort and Brueggemann urge people to not take drugs unless prescribed by a certified physician and purchased at a pharmacy.