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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of Georgia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 24, 2018

Roswell woman sentenced for distributing counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl & synthetic opioids

ATLANTA - Cathine Lavina Sellers was sentenced to three years in federal prison for possession with intent to distribute fentanyl and two synthetic opioids, furanyl-fentanyl and U-47700. 

 “This drug dealer deliberately disguised pills to make them look like oxycodone tablets, laced them with deadly fentanyl and two synthetic opioids, and then sold the fake pills out of her residence in Roswell,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “These counterfeit pills posed a particular danger to our communities, as they are comparably 50 times more potent than prescription oxycodone and present a substantially higher risk of overdose.” 

“The dangerous substance fentanyl is 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine and 30 to 50 times more potent than heroin,” said “Robert J. Murphy, the Special Agent in Charge of the DEA Atlanta Field Division.  “Furanyl-fentanyl was designed by foreign chemists, as an effort to subvert the controlled substances laws, but nonetheless is extraordinarily powerful. These dangerous substances, when added to street pills, have caused scores of deaths across this nation. DEA’s job is to protect its citizens from these substances. The true spirit of federal, state and local law enforcement cooperation led to the successful prosecution of this case.”

According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges and other information presented in court: On June 13, 2017, Sellers sold approximately 100 pills for $1,400 in cash from her Roswell townhouse to a confidential source working with the DEA.  Later that night, DEA agents searched Sellers’s townhouse and retrieved the money from the earlier transaction, and they found approximately 100 more counterfeit pills concealed in a dietary supplement bottle.  Agents also found a loaded Glock handgun and two magazines.  DEA agents arrested Sellers that night. A DEA lab test revealed the counterfeit pills contained furany-fentanyl, U-47700 and fentanyl; none of these substances are present in legitimate oxycodone tablets.  The counterfeit pills are similar in appearance to a legitimate 30mg Roxicodone tablet, except they are a slightly lighter color of blue than the regular pills.   

Cathine Lavina Sellers, 39, of Roswell, Georgia has been sentenced to three years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release.   Sellers was convicted on these charges on January 30, 2018, after she pleaded guilty.

This case is being investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John T. DeGenova prosecuted the case.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Atlanta recommends parents and children learn about the dangers of drugs at the following web site: www.justthinktwice.gov.

For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016.  The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.

Topic(s): 
Drug Trafficking
Opioids
Updated May 24, 2018