BELLINGHAM, Wash. — Editor's note: The above story was published earlier this year.
Two Skagit County residents have been arrested in connection with a drug distribution ring selling fake oxycodone pills laced with fentanyl that have been linked to the fatal overdose of a Bellingham teen.
The pair, two 21-year-olds, are accused of selling the fake pills in Whatcom and Skagit Counties.
“Getting these tainted pills off the street are a top priority for law enforcement,” said U.S. Attorney Brian Moran. “It is heartbreaking to meet with the families of these overdose victims who lost their children to fentanyl. We will hold those spreading these poisons accountable.”
According to a criminal complaint, a family member found the 17-year-old unresponsive on Nov. 9. He could not be revived.
Investigators found a whole and a partial pill near the teen. The pills were designed to look like oxycodone 30 mg pills with the letter M and 30 stamped on them. However, they were not genuine and were tainted with fentanyl.
Similar pills have been linked to other overdose deaths throughout the Puget Sound region, including two students at Skyline High School.
The two suspects have been charged with possession of narcotics with the intent to distribute. If convicted, they could face up to 20 years in prison.
Both the man and the woman remain in custody.