SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Federal law enforcement officials arrested a South Deerfield man accused of selling counterfeit oxycodone pills that contained fentanyl.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Kansas, 32-year-old Anthony Stokes was indicted on five counts of distributing fentanyl and five counts of selling counterfeit drugs. Springfield Dr. Ira Helfand told 22News, fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more powerful than heroin, and oxycodone.
Dr. Helfand also said because the drug is so powerful in small doses, it’s very likely a drug user will overdose if they’re unaware fentanyl is present.
“This is what’s been driving the drug overdose epidemic,” said Dr. Helfand. “We’ve seen an enormous amount of people that have died from using street drugs. And in a very large proportion, it’s because those drugs were cut with fentanyl, or included fentanyl in them.”
Dr. Helfand also said fentanyl allows drug dealers to make an enormous profit because of how little is needed.
If Stokes is convicted, he could face up to 30-years in prison.