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>>

  • Stolen bike didn't roll away unnoticed

    Stolen bike didn't roll away unnoticed

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 10:31 AM EDT2014-08-20 14:31:01 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - When Paul Dannels finished his workout at the Downtown YMCA, he was surprised to see his bike was gone from the bike rack. "I was pretty upset, to be honest...mad, and discouraged, and depressed because I knew I couldn't replace it," said Dannels. A reporter for The Inlander happened to be at the YMCA when the bike was stolen.>>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - When Paul Dannels finished his workout at the Downtown YMCA, he was surprised to see his bike was gone from the bike rack. "I was pretty upset, to be honest...mad, and discouraged, and depressed because I knew I couldn't replace it," said Dannels. A reporter for The Inlander happened to be at the YMCA when the bike was stolen.
    >>
  • Another American hostage at risk by Islamic State after U.S. journalist beheaded

    Another American hostage at risk by Islamic State after U.S. journalist beheaded

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 10:15 AM EDT2014-08-20 14:15:08 GMT
    WASHINGTON (AP) - Militants with the Islamic State extremist group have beheaded American journalist James Foley and are threatening to kill another hostage in retaliation for U.S. air strikes in northern Iraq. The White House must now weigh the risks of adopting an aggressive policy to destroy the Islamic State against resisting any action that could result in the death of another American.>>
    WASHINGTON (AP) - Militants with the Islamic State extremist group have beheaded American journalist James Foley and are threatening to kill another hostage in retaliation for U.S. air strikes in northern Iraq. The White House must now weigh the risks of adopting an aggressive policy to destroy the Islamic State against resisting any action that could result in the death of another American.>>
  • HEALTH ALERT: Peanut butter recall for salmonella

    HEALTH ALERT: Peanut butter recall for salmonella

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:50 AM EDT2014-08-20 13:50:34 GMT
    KHQ.COM - The FDA announced a peanut butter recall on August 19th. nSpired Natural Foods, Inc. is voluntarily recalling certain retail lots of Arrowhead Mills® Peanut Butters, MaraNatha® Almond Butters and Peanut Butters and specific private label nut butters packaged in glass and plastic jars because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. >>>LINK TO RECALL LIST INSIDE>>>>>
    KHQ.COM - The FDA announced a peanut butter recall on August 19th. nSpired Natural Foods, Inc. is voluntarily recalling certain retail lots of Arrowhead Mills® Peanut Butters, MaraNatha® Almond Butters and Peanut Butters and specific private label nut butters packaged in glass and plastic jars because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. >>>LINK TO RECALL LIST INSIDE>>>
    >>
  • Top Stories from KHQTop StoriesMore>>

  • Father of Rebecca West speaks about potential release of Michael Tarbert: 'It's been a living hell'

    Father of Rebecca West speaks about potential release of Michael Tarbert: 'It's been a living hell'

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 4:56 PM EDT2014-08-20 20:56:28 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Michael West cannot believe that the man suspected of killing his daughter Rebecca may once again walk the streets of Spokane.“It's very unacceptable to me,” West told KHQ. >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - Michael West cannot believe that the man suspected of killing his daughter Rebecca may once again walk the streets of Spokane.“It's very unacceptable to me,” West told KHQ. “A 55-year-old man is able to go home to his family, and my daughter can't come home to her mother. I'm very surprised.” West says his daughter's death destroyed his family. >>
  • PHOTOS: Harvest 2014

    PHOTOS: Harvest 2014

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 4:23 PM EDT2014-08-20 20:23:55 GMT
    SPOKANE, Wash. - One of the great parts about living in Spokane, is if you head out of town in any direction, you're going to run into some beautiful farm land. I grew up south of Spokane, near Plaza, and one of my favorite things to do was to sit on the porch at night and stare south towards Rosalia at all of the rolling hills of wheat, lentils, barley and peas. >>
    SPOKANE, Wash. - One of the great parts about living in Spokane, is if you head out of town in any direction, you're going to run into some beautiful farm land. I grew up south of Spokane, near Plaza, and one of my favorite things to do was to sit on the porch at night and stare south towards Rosalia at all of the rolling hills of wheat, lentils, barley and peas. >>