Two Arizona men face federal charges after the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Los Angeles Field Division’s Enforcement Group 2, in coordination with the Burbank Police Department, seized 100,000 fake oxycodone pills.
A criminal complaint filed in federal court alleges that, in the early morning hours of July 12, Burbank Police officers conducted a traffic stop of a vehicle driven by Fernando Paul Arenas, 20 of Glendale, Arizona. Phoenix resident Ricardo Corral Rivera, 21, was a passenger in the vehicle.
Following the traffic stop and search of the vehicle, Burbank Police officers located and seized a loaded handgun, approximately 50 rounds of ammunition, and several wrapped bundles, each containing blue circular pills imprinted with “M-30” that field tested positive for the presence of fentanyl.
On July 13, 2022, Arenas and Rivera were transferred into federal custody after the filing of the complaint that charges both men with possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance related to the seizure of the more than 100,000 fake oxycodone pills containing fentanyl.
In court hearings on July 13 and July 18, both men were ordered detained. Arenas and Rivera are scheduled to be arraigned on August 18.
The investigation was conducted by Burbank Police Department and DEA Los Angeles Field Division. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kathrynne Seiden of the General Crimes Section.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 107,000 people have died as a result from a drug overdose or poisoning in the U.S. Criminal drug networks in Mexico are mass-producing illicit fentanyl and fake pills pressed with fentanyl in filthy, clandestine, unregulated labs. These fake pills are designed to look like real prescription pills right down to the size, shape, color and stamping. These fake pills typically replicate real prescription opioid medications such as oxycodone (Oxycontin®, Percocet®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), and alprazolam (Xanax®); or stimulants like amphetamines (Adderall®).
The only safe medications are ones that come from licensed and accredited medical professionals. DEA warns that pills purchased outside of a licensed pharmacy are illegal, dangerous, and potentially lethal. For more information please visit www.dea.gov/onepill.