Two juveniles were arrested this week in connection with drug overdoses and deaths linked to fake prescription pills.
Stop the Offender Program Special Crimes Unit Commander Larry Sparks said they will not be identified since they are minors.
The incidents and suspects appear to be unrelated, although both investigations remain open.
Venus police on March 15 responded to a possible overdose involving two juveniles. One was pronounced dead at the scene. The second was hospitalized but has since recovered.
Investigation indicated that the juveniles purchased the pills they took from a known drug dealer.
The street name for the pills is Perk 30s. Investigation revealed, however, that the Perk 30s the juveniles thought they were buying were actually counterfeit Oxycodone pills that contained Fentanyl instead.
“These pills are perfect replicas of Oxycodone 30 mg pills,” Sparks said.
A week-long investigation ensued involving officers from the Venus Police Department, Burleson Police Department and STOP, after which investigators identified and obtained a directive to apprehend the juvenile suspect.
The suspect remains detained in a juvenile facility awaiting a hearing.
Venus police on March 17 responded to another, albeit unrelated, overdose call involving a juvenile and a 17-year-old. Rescue workers rushed both to the hospital in critical condition. The 17-year-old survived but the juvenile died from injuries caused by the overdose.
Investigation indicated that the two victims also purchased the pills from a known dealer, though not the same dealer involved in the March 15 case.
The pills, Perk 30s, that the victims purchased also turned out to be counterfeit Oxycodone pills containing Fentanyl.
Working together, STOP officers and Venus police located the possible supplier and obtained a directive to apprehend. That juvenile also remains detained in a juvenile facility awaiting a hearing.
Sparks reiterated that, as of now, the two cases do not appear to be related and that both investigations remain open and active with attempts to identify additional suppliers.
STOP, VPD and BPD officers have seized more than 120 counterfeit Oxycodone pills so far.
The pills are especially dangerous, Sparks said, given that buyers think they are getting one thing but actually getting another.
Sparks joined other area law enforcement officials in reminding residents the opioids know as Oxycodone or Paracetamol are pain relievers available only by prescription and illegal to consume unless prescribed by a doctor.
The situation only compounds when buyers purchase illegal pills that they believe to be Oxycodone but actually contain Fentanyl.
Unfortunately, Sparks added such instances are widespread throughout the country.
“Without getting into details on specific cases, I can say that they’ve seen a lot of fatalities from these type situations in Fort Worth and we’ve seen fatalities in Johnson County,” Sparks said. “People shouldn’t take prescription drugs if they’re not prescribed to them. The problem in these situations is that people are not getting what the think they’re getting.”