SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Dustin Gillespie, the Assistant Special Agent in charge at the Salt Lake City Drug Enforcement Administration said Fentanyl increases the potency of drugs, like methamphetamine, heroin, or cocaine.

“Last year we seized a little over 130,000 counterfeit oxycodone pills laced with fentanyl, this year we have seized a little over 400,000,” said Gillespie. “We’re seeing a lot more organizations, poly-drug trafficking organizations that are including Fentanyl in their distribution.”

The potency is also what makes fentanyl itself so dangerous. Gillespie said just 2 milligrams is enough to be lethal, and often people buying Fentanyl pills have no idea how much fentanyl each pill contains.

“A little over 40 percent of the pills we test for fentanyl have a lethal dose,” he said. 

And while some of the pills may be manufactured locally, Gillespie said a bulk of it is coming from the Southern Border of the United States.

Sgt. Bronson wood with the Utah Highway Patrol confirms the rising numbers. He said it’s especially noticeable on I-15 and I-70.”A lot of the stuff we intercept would continue eastbound. A lot of it is destined for Utah as well, we’ve seen a lot of those seizures.”

And even though UHP is confiscating a high number of pills, Sgt. Wood believes a lot more of it is poisoning communities throughout the state.

“I think we’re just skimming the top,” he said, “so the guys are out there working hard trying to find it, but a lot of it is making it to its destination.”