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Fake oxycodone pills are circulating in Lincoln and causing overdoses, police say
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Fake oxycodone pills are circulating in Lincoln and causing overdoses, police say

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A mother-father trafficking duo — Ana Razo-Villela and Roberto Guerrero — were arrested after deputies outside Phoenix, Arizona, found 52,000 fentanyl pills hidden in their child's car seat.

Police are warning residents that they're seeing an uptick in counterfeit pills on the streets of Lincoln, specifically pills that appear to be oxycodone but really are fentanyl, which is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

Narcotics Capt. Ryan Dale said people have overdosed on as little as half of one pill.

"Moreover, we’re also seeing methamphetamine laced with fentanyl, which is causing overdoses as well,” he said.

Counterfeit pills

LPD narcotics investigators are recovering pills purported to be oxycodone, but are really fentanyl, which is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine.

Police say, depending on the amount, just touching a pill or powder containing fentanyl can cause an overdose.

Officer Luke Bonkiewicz said the same troubling trend is being seen across Southeast Nebraska, not just Lincoln. 

So far, here LPD has seen an increase in total overdoses, with 50 so far this year, compared to 34 at the same point last year or 32 in 2019, he said. 

The illegally pressed pills range in color from blue to green and have an “M” imprinted on one side and “30” imprinted on the other side. The pills are intended to mimic a 30 mg dose of oxycodone.

If you or someone you know experiences a drug overdose, call 911 immediately. And if you come across pills, don't touch them.

For help finding treatment options, call 1-800-662-HELP (4357). Lincoln residents also can call the Lincoln Treatment Center at 402-488-2122.

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Public safety reporter

Lori Pilger is a Norfolk native and University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate who has been a public safety reporter for the Journal Star since 2005.

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