The DEA says more and more middle-aged people are buying drugs

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A major warning for parents: The DEA says more and more middle-aged people are buying drugs.

Pittsburgh police are investigating the death of a 13-year-old eighth-grader at Carmalt Elementary in Brooklyn, who, according to a forensic expert, had several drugs in his body, including fentanyl and parafluorofentanil, when he died. It is unclear how the teen got the drugs.

Allegheny County forensic expert says the 13-year-old student was found unanswered at his home in Brooklyn on Capital Avenue back in February. He died at UPMC Mercy, and Pittsburgh police are now investigating after a forensic pathologist released new information about drugs that were in the boy’s system when he died.

Steve Denhap is the head of intelligence at the DEA Western PA and says investigators are seeing an increase in the number of young people receiving counterfeit pills containing potent drugs such as fentanyl, parafluorofentanil and methamphetamines.

“We find that many of these substances are imported to the United States or produced locally in the form of counterfeit oxycodone tablets of 30 milligrams,” said Denhap.

Denhup says they see a lot of these fake drugs being made in western Pennsylvania, and large quantities are also coming from Mexico. He says middle school students often find that pills are sold on social media, especially in programs like Snapchat.

“Summarizing social media and sharing smileys among students, we will also contact a dealer or other student who has access to them,” Denhap said. “It’s very easy to hide a pill on yourself or in a prescription bottle, so we consider counterfeit drugs as the preferred way to purchase and conceal drugs.”

Denhup wants to emphasize that only one pill can be deadly.

“If you have a higher tolerance, not much, but if you’re 13 and you get a pill, on average now 2.2 milligrams, 2 milligrams will kill you,” Denhap said.

Denhap says the DEA is doing its best to bring out counterfeit pills and all drugs. He says they are also doing their best to educate our youth.

Pittsburgh police say no one has yet been charged with the death of this 13-year-old boy from Brooklyn.


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