Counterfeit pills looking like Oxycodone but laced with lethal fentanyl have been blamed for the death of a Walnut Creek woman, resulting in charges against a local man and a promise of increased enforcement by local and federal officials.
The unidentified woman was found dead June 17, her father reportedly finding pills with “M30” stamped on them in her room. Federal investigators said the stamp is common on counterfeit Oxycodone pills containing fentanyl and it was eventually determined that the victim died from a fatal fentanyl overdose.
A Pittsburg man and former high school classmate of the victim was charged with one count of distribution of fentanyl resulting in death or great physical injury earlier this month. Investigators said they uncovered texts made between the victim and Gage Pascoe, 22, detailing a transaction made between the pair the night before the woman’s death.
“Fentanyl is cheap, man-made and potent. Overdose can occur in the smallest amount and in this case it left a family with unimaginable loss,” DEA Special Agent in Charge Daniel C. Comeaux said. “We will pursue those who distribute this deadly drug and continue to seek justice for those lives that have been lost.”
The case is being prosecuted by the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force (OCDETF) of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California. The investigation of the case was conducted by the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Concord Police Department, and the Walnut Creek Police Department.