Prescription Pills: The #1 Drug Taken Off The Streets Of Spokane - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Prescription Pills: The #1 Drug Taken Off The Streets Of Spokane

Posted: Updated:

SPOKANE, Wash – In the wake of the DEA raid that broke up a $20 million dollar prescription drug ring, Spokane police say they make OxyContin busts in Spokane on the street level every week.

"Spokane is being flooded with pills.  We've probably got more people on the radar now and more current investigations for pills than we do any other drug," an undercover drug agent told KHQ's Kelsey Watts.

One 30 mg pill sells for between $22-30 on the street.  That's because they can be crushed or snorted, and are therefore the "pill of choice," while the larger 60 or 80 mg pills are now manufactured so they can't be broken down.

The #1 drug on the street used to be meth, the agent said, but in the last year or two it's turned to opiate pills.  The reason is because the price of heroin has gone down, and people who are addicted to it often cross over to pills.

They get them by stealing prescription pads and going to different pharmacies, buying them from patients who have leftovers, or stealing them.

"There are whole criminal enterprises that are gathering pills in California and shipping them up here because in California they're selling for $7-10 dollars, but they're selling for $25-30 dollars here, so there's a lot of money to be made," the agent said.

Now that the DEA bust has been made, police are warning local pharmacies that there may be an uptick in robberies as people who are hooked look for another source of the drug.  There is reward money being offered for information that leads to the arrest of such suspects.

"It isn't just your druggers who are running around trying to take OxyConton, it could be someone who could be just like your neighbor, a normal person, who is exposed to it legitimately then becomes addicted," said Spokane Police Captain Frank Scalise.

Scalise added:

"I've been with Spokane PD for almost 20 years and I'm pretty comfortable saying I've not found too many criminals who only do one crime ever, and who only do one kind of crime ever.  They tend to multi-task in that department. They tend to do whatever crime is the greatest opportunity."

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • NEW INFORMATION: High Drive brush fire believed to be human caused

    NEW INFORMATION: High Drive brush fire believed to be human caused

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 1:58 PM EDT2014-07-30 17:58:17 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Tuesday evening the Spokane Fire department announced they had a likely cause for the High Drive brush fire: humans. The fire broke out Monday afternoon about 3pm on the west side of Spokane's South Hill between Qualchan Golf Course and High Drive. By 6pm it had grown to 30 acres and moved to within 75 yards of several homes on High Drive.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Tuesday evening the Spokane Fire department announced they had a likely cause for the High Drive brush fire: humans. The fire broke out Monday afternoon about 3pm on the west side of Spokane's South Hill between Qualchan Golf Course and High Drive. By 6pm it had grown to 30 acres and moved to within 75 yards of several homes on High Drive.>>
  • PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    PHOTOS JUST IN: Devastation from Carlton Complex; 300 homes burned

    Saturday, July 26 2014 12:07 AM EDT2014-07-26 04:07:59 GMT
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.>>
    TWISP, Wash. (AP) - The Okanogan County Sheriff says the Carlton Complex wildfire has many more homes than previously thought. Sheriff Frank Rogers said Friday that the Carlton Complex fire has consumed about 300 homes this month. His office previously placed the number at 150, but he said then he knew it would rise.>>
  • WILDFIRE WATCH 2014: DNR tackling new wildfire near Tonasket

    WILDFIRE WATCH 2014: DNR tackling new wildfire near Tonasket

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 3:03 PM EDT2014-07-30 19:03:06 GMT
    TONASKET, Wash.- The Department of Natural Resources says they are battling a new wildfire northeast of Wauconda and Tonasket. The fire broke out on Tuesday, July 29th and is called the "Torado Mountain" wildfire. DNR crews are attacking this fire from the ground and air.
    >>
    TONASKET, Wash.- The Department of Natural Resources says they are battling a new wildfire northeast of Wauconda and Tonasket. The fire broke out on Tuesday, July 29th and is called the "Torado Mountain" wildfire. DNR crews are attacking this fire from the ground and air.
    >>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Manhunt in Peone Prairie for man believed to be armed

    Manhunt in Peone Prairie for man believed to be armed

    Thursday, July 31 2014 3:01 AM EDT2014-07-31 07:01:36 GMT
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash.- At 6pm Wednesday evening two people arrived at their home, in Peone Prairie, and found two men in the process of ransacking it. This happened at a home near East Moffat and North Forker Road, northeast of Spokane.. >>Details on manhunt inside>>
    SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash.- At 6pm Wednesday evening two people arrived at their home, in Peone Prairie, and found two men in the process of ransacking it. This happened at a home near East Moffat and North Forker Road, northeast of Spokane. >>Details on manhunt inside
    >>
  • Green Bluff grass fire: 3 buildings destroyed at Walker's Farm

    Green Bluff grass fire: 3 buildings destroyed at Walker's Farm

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:55 AM EDT2014-07-31 04:55:05 GMT
    GREEN BLUFF, Wash.- A fire that broke out Wednesday afternoon at a farm on Green Bluff was 100% contained by 6pm. The fire started on property owned by Walker's Farm. Fire crews were called out to the farm about 2:30pm.
    >>
    GREEN BLUFF, Wash.- A fire that broke out Wednesday afternoon at a farm on Green Bluff was 100% contained by 6pm. The fire started on property owned by Walker's Farm. Fire crews were called out to the farm about 2:30pm.

    >>
  • Q6 CARES: Air Conditioners and what you can do to help prevent them from breaking

    Q6 CARES: Air Conditioners and what you can do to help prevent them from breaking

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 11:01 PM EDT2014-07-31 03:01:06 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Before you crank up your air conditioner to its coolest setting, it's a good idea to make sure it's working properly. On Wednesday KHQ spoke with a maintenance tech, Justin Holyron, who works at RR Heating and Air Conditioning about some things you can check before calling in the experts. >>VIDEO INSIDE>>
    SPOKANE, Wash.- Before you crank up your air conditioner to its coolest setting, it's a good idea to make sure it's working properly. On Wednesday KHQ spoke with a maintenance tech, Justin Holyron, who works at RR Heating and Air Conditioning about some things you can check before calling in the experts. >>VIDEO INSIDE
    >>