US man pleads guilty to distributing counterfeit pills

A US man has admitted participating in a drug trafficking organization (DTO) that allegedly distributed tens of thousands of counterfeit prescription pills containing fentanyl and methamphetamine.

Lawrence M Nagle Sr (56) of Lynn, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty in a federal court to one count each of conspiring to distribute and to possess with intent to distribute controlled substances. He is among 23 individuals charged in October 2022 in connection with the DTO, operating out of Boston’s North Shore.

According to court documents, the DTO distributed counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl and counterfeit Adderall pills containing methamphetamine, among other things, to various individuals in the Lynn area.

Nagle Sr stored various controlled substances including counterfeit oxycodone pills at his apartment on behalf of the DTO. A search of his apartment in resulted in the seizure of various quantities of fentanyl, methamphetamine, and cocaine, as well as three loaded firearms and more than $26,000 in drug proceeds.

The Department of Justice (DoJ) noted that the details contained in the indictment are allegations, adding that the remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

According to a Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report, there was a 2.3 per cent rise in deaths from overdoses in the 12-month period from July 2022 to July 2023 - the latest month data is available – reaching 112,000. Counterfeit medicines containing fentanyl, a super-strong opioid, are believed to be a key factor behind those deaths.

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