Oxycodone pain pills prescribed for a patient with chronic pain lie on display on March 23, 2016 in Norwich, Connecticut. The Atlanta-based CDC estimates that most new heroin addicts first became hooked on prescription pain medication before graduating to heroin, which is stronger and cheaper.
Photo: John Moore / Getty Images
Photo: John Moore / Getty Images

Roswell woman charged with selling counterfeit opioids

A Roswell woman was arraigned Tuesday on charges she sold about 100 counterfeit oxycodone to an informant, prompting federal law enforcement to issue a warning of the plethora of synthetic opioids marketed on the streets with potentially deadly consequences.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta, Cathine Lavina Sellers is charged with possession with the intent to distribute fentanyl, furanyl-fentanyl and U-47700. 

“These pills are especially dangerous because they may be more than 50 times more potent than normal oxycodone,” said U. S. Attorney John Horn. “Anyone who consumes these pills faces a substantially higher risk of overdose.”

RELATED: Fake yellow pills blamed for overdoses in Georgia

MORE: Deadly fake pills contain two synthetic opioids

Daniel R. Salter, the special agent in charge of the Atlanta Drug Enforcement Administration in Atlanta, said one of the synthetic drugs in the pills Sellers was allegedly selling out of her home, U-47700 or “Pink,” is 7 ½ times stronger than morphine.

Federal authorities noted that counterfeit Percocet, which contained fentanyl and another synthetic drug, was responsible for a cluster overdoses in three middle Georgia counties and in Dougherty County in southwest Georgia in June.

Five people died and 33 were hospitalized.

What is the Street Drug Pink and Why is it so Dangerous?

According to an indictment returned July 11, Sellers sold about 100 pills for $1,400 in cash to a DEA confidential source on June 13.

Federal agents returned that night to Sellers’ town home to find the case from that sale along with more pills and a loaded 9 mm Glock.

A Sandy Springs police officer who is part of a DEA task force wrote in an affidavit that Sellers acknowledged that several customers had returned the counterfeit pills because they were too strong, but then came back to get the pills. 

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.

X