Cranston Police: Dangerous Counterfeit Pills Laced with Fentanyl Found During Traffic Stop

Cranston Police Chief Michael Winquist warns that the counterfeit pills often closely resemble legitimate prescription versions and can have deadly consequences.

Cranston, RI (WLNE) – Cranston Police arrested two men after officers say they found 49 counterfeit pills laced with fentanyl during a traffic stop.

Colonel Michael Winquist, Cranston Police Chief, said officers pulled over a car Wednesday afternoon after noticing several motor vehicle violations. During a search of the car, Chief Winquist said officers found 49 counterfeit pills. He said the pills had been stamped “E-404”, which is used to identify an amphetamine that treats ADHD and narcolepsy.  However, the chief said tests showed that the pills contained fentanyl.

Officers said they also found a loaded handgun, a digital scale and some crack cocaine in the car.

The driver, Jarred Alba of Cranston, is charged with Carrying a Firearm When Committing a Crime of Violence, License Required for Carrying a Pistol, Possession with Intent to Deliver Schedule I-II (fentanyl), Possession of Schedule 1-V (crack cocaine), Disorderly Conduct and Resisting Arrest. Alba is being held without bail pending a hearing.

The passenger, Troy Lassiter of Johnston, is charged with Possession of Schedule 1-V (crack cocaine). Lassiter also had an active arrest warrant out of 3rd District Court. Bail was set at $50,000 with surety for Lassiter.

Chief Winquist provided photos that show just how closely the counterfeit, laced pills resemble the legitimate prescription versions. He said counterfeit prescription pills laced with fentanyl (as well as those laced with methamphetamine) are causing overdose deaths in unsuspecting users nationwide.

Chief Winquist released the following statement, “The public should be warned that there is an influx of counterfeit prescription pills being sold on the black market here in Rhode Island. These pills contain high purity levels of fentanyl or methamphetamine, resulting in overdose deaths of  unsuspecting users in Cranston and throughout the country. These counterfeit pills are being produced to resemble prescription pills such as OxyContin, Adderall, and Xanax. These drugs are popular among high school and college students and are referred to as study drugs. Only use prescription pills prescribed to you and purchased from a legitimate pharmacy. Buying pills on the street can have deadly consequences.”

Categories: Cranston, News, Regional News, Rhode Island