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Counterfeit prescription pills may have played a role in woman's fentanyl overdose this month in Texarkana

Counterfeit pills containing fentanyl but stamped to look like genuine prescription drugs such as opioids, tranquilizers and stimulants, are a growing problem — U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration by Lynn LaRowe | December 30, 2021 at 10:00 p.m.
Authentic oxycodone M30 tablets (top) vs. counterfeit oxycodone M30 tablets containing fentanyl (bottom) as pictured on a May 2021 fact sheet issued by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

TEXARKANA, Texas -- Counterfeit oxycodone pills may be involved in a fentanyl overdose that sent an 18-year-old Texarkana woman to the hospital and the man who allegedly sold drugs to her to jail this month.

Conner Douglas Morgan, 21, was arrested Dec. 22 in connection with a Texarkana, Texas, woman who was treated for a reported fentanyl overdose the night of Dec. 19. Morgan has been charged with delivery of a controlled substance resulting in serious bodily injury.

Morgan allegedly sold three blue pills stamped M30 to the woman for $30 apiece the evening of Dec. 19, according to a probable cause affidavit. Two-and-a-half blue bills stamped M30 were allegedly found in the woman's bedroom by her mother after the overdose and given to Texarkana Texas Police Department officers.

According to the Drug Enforcement Administration's website, blue pills stamped with M30 are oxycodone, a powerful prescription opioid pain reliever. The pills collected from the overdose victim's bedroom allegedly "field tested" positive for fentanyl, a synthetic opioid more powerful than morphine.

The woman's mother found her unresponsive the evening of Dec. 19 and was unable to wake her. When the woman's breathing stopped, the mother performed CPR until first responders arrived. The woman reportedly told TTPD Investigator Colten Johnson that she was informed by hospital staff that she would not have survived if she had not been found by her mother and given emergency medical attention.

The woman allegedly reported that she ingested the drug while sitting in Morgan's car at her home in Texarkana, Texas. The woman allegedly told Johnson that after taking the drug she went back in her home and remembers nothing after about 7:30 p.m. that night.

The use of fentanyl in street drugs such as methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin as a cheap alternative or additive has been associated with a rise in overdose deaths. Counterfeit pills containing fentanyl but stamped to look like genuine prescription drugs such as opioids, tranquilizers and stimulants, are a growing problem too, according to the DEA site.

Morgan's bail on the drug charge has been set at $75,000. However, his bond on a pending robbery charge has been revoked and he is being held without bond in that case.

Bowie County records show Morgan pleaded guilty to robbery at a hearing Dec. 13 before 5th District Judge Bill Miller but has not been sentenced. Docket entries in the case show Miller order a presentence investigation be prepared by the Bowie County Community Supervision and Corrections Department as is common in cases when a judge is considering a term of probation.

A presentence investigation report typically includes information about a defendant meant to aid a judge at sentencing. The reports often include recommendations for special programs, such as drug treatment or money management, for example.

Morgan's robbery case is currently scheduled Jan. 24 for sentencing before Miller.

According to a probable cause affidavit in that case, Morgan and three or four other men attacked two men in March 2020 at a residence in Nash, Texas. One of the men injured in the attack was "covered head to toe with multiple bruises and cuts" and still wore a hospital bracelet on his wrist when he made a report to Nash police March 8, 2020.

The man reported that he was invited to a party at the residence and that he and a friend who went with him were "jumped" when they entered. The man reported that his shoes, hoodie and wallet containing $150 in cash, his driver's license and social security card had been taken.

A video of the attack was allegedly posted to SnapChat by Morgan and viewed by investigators with the Nash, Texas, Police Department. The video allegedly showed the two men being beaten and one man's shoes and hoodie being removed during the assault.

Charges remain pending against at least two of Morgan's co-defendants in the robbery case. One defendant in the case was sentenced Dec. 13 to a five-year term of deferred adjudication probation. If a defendant successfully completes a deferred adjudication probation, their criminal history will not reflect a final felony conviction.

photo CONNER DOUGLAS MORGAN

Print Headline: Counterfeit prescription pills may have played a role in woman's fentanyl overdose this month in Texarkana

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