Officers with Portland’s Drugs and Vice Division have arrested two men tied to the investigation of the death of a man who overdosed on counterfeit OxyContin.
Police began the investigation on August 16 after receiving reports of an overdose victim being treated at Portland Adventist Medical Center. The victim, 24, died as a result of the overdose a few days later.
Investigators determined that the victim had ingested what he thought was OxyContin but instead was a counterfeit that officers are testing to determine if it was laced with Fentanyl.
After days of investigation, officers identified different parts of the distribution network and now believe that the pills were coming to the United States from China.
Officers served search warrants on August 19, arresting 44-year-old Antonio Irving Benjamin and 42-year-old Alfred Darrell Warren. They also seized 2,000 pills thought to be counterfeit OxyContin, $10,000 in cash, a shotgun and three handguns, two of which had been reported stolen.
Both men were taken to the Multnomah County Jail and face charges of possession of oxycodone, and delivery of oxycodone. Benjamin also faces charges of manufacturing and delivery of a counterfeit controlled substance in the second degree, possession of a controlled substance in the second degree and attempt to elude by vehicle.
Officials with the Portland Police Bureau said the investigation is continuing and that more arrests are expected. Once the investigation is complete the case will be turned over to the United States Attorney’s Office for possible federal prosecution.
Investigators are asking anyone that thinks they may have relevant information about the case to please call 503-823-0246.
According to the PPB, the man's death marked the 30th drug overdose investigated by the bureau in 2016, compared to 30 traffic-related deaths and 12 homicides.
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