BRUNSWICK COUNTY, Va. -- As few as three grains of fentanyl could be deadly, as the drug is 100 times more potent than heroin.
That’s what Brunswick County Sheriff's Deputies, doing undercover drug enforcement work, stumbled across recently: deadly counterfeit painkillers made from fentanyl.
The small blue-green pills are supposed to be the powerful painkiller Oxycontin, but they’re not.
"Anyone who's had a severe injury and has been prescribed them would say they're identical,” Brunswick Sheriff Brian Roberts said.
He said after the undercover buy/bust operation, they got startling results from the state lab.
He's now warning people to only ingest what you're prescribed by a physician and not to take anything bought from a secondary source.
"The secondary market is tainted and you will die,” said Roberts. “These are lethal doses. The lab analysis from these recent pills isn't something like 80 percent Oxy and 10 percent this. It's 100 percent fentanyl."
Roberts said his office has two cases in the county right now where young adults overdosed and died.
One has been linked to fentanyl and the other is still being tested.
Roberts said he has put out a public safety announcement on social media to warn Central Virginians about the dangerous pills.
"Traditionally in rural areas and in Southside Virginia, most of our drugs are brought in from other sources,” Roberts said. “Rarely is there any intel that they've been created in our county. So whether it came from Richmond or is going to Richmond, I don't believe anyone at this point is not at risk if you're buying secondary market pills."