MEDFORD, Ore. — Weeks ago, detectives searched a vehicle near Ashland and uncovered fentanyl pills in the tens of thousands, the Medford Police Department (MPD) revealed on Thursday.
Around 1 p.m. on July 28, detectives with Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement (MADGE) pulled over a white 2008 Dodge Sprinter van driving on I-5 near milepost 16 — seizing cocaine, scales and packaging.
The taskforce also took the van in order to serve a search warrant, which eventually uncovered between 60,000 and 80,000 fentanyl pills found "in a hidden trap and packaged in such a way as to attempt to mask any odor."
"The pills are similar in shape, color and markings to Oxycodone 30 pills; round, blue with a M on one side and 30 on the other side," MPD said.
Officers arrested and lodged 22-year-old Pavel Dubinstov in jail on August 6, charging him with delivery and possession of both cocaine and "a controlled substance." His bail was set at $42,500.
The street value of fentanyl pills is about $50, the MPD said. Even assuming a low estimate of the seizure at 60,000 pills, selling them individually at that price would represent $3 million in ill-gotten gains.
The synthetic opioid acts similarly to morphine, but can be up to 100 times more potent — creating a high risk of overdose.
"According to Acetyl Fentanyl Fact Sheet synthetic opioids are the most common drugs associated with overdose deaths in the United States," MPD said.