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Seattle/Western Wash. News Releases for Tue. Sep. 28 - 1:45 pm
Mon. 09/27/21
DEA Issues Public Safety Alert on Sharp Increase in Fake Prescription Pills Containing Fentanyl and Meth - Counterfeit Pill Seizures in the Pacific Northwest Have Increased 275%
DEA Seattle - 09/27/21 10:06 AM

SEATTLE - Today, the Drug Enforcement Administration issued a Public Safety Alert warning Americans of the alarming increase in the lethality and availability of fake prescription pills containing fentanyl and methamphetamine. DEA’s Public Safety Alert, the first in six years, seeks to raise public awareness of a significant nationwide surge in counterfeit pills that are mass-produced by criminal drug networks in labs, deceptively marketed as legitimate prescription pills, and are killing unsuspecting Americans at an unprecedented rate.

The DEA Seattle Field Division which includes Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Alaska have seen a 275% increase in seizures involving counterfeit pills containing fentanyl from 2020 to 2021.  Drug trafficking is also inextricably linked to violence.  Twenty percent of DEA investigations in the Pacific Northwest result in the seizure of firearms and this year alone, DEA seized more than 2700 firearms in connection with drug trafficking investigations nationwide.

 “The United States is facing an unprecedented crisis of overdose deaths fueled by illegally manufactured fentanyl and methamphetamine,” said Anne Milgram, Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration. “Counterfeit pills that contain these dangerous and extremely addictive drugs are more lethal and more accessible than ever before. In fact, DEA lab analyses reveal that two out of every five fake pills with fentanyl contain a potentially lethal dose. DEA is focusing resources on taking down the violent drug traffickers causing the greatest harm and posing the greatest threat to the safety and health of Americans. Today, we are alerting the public to this danger so that people have the information they need to protect themselves and their children.”

“The Seattle Field Division is focused on the criminal networks responsible for distributing this poison into our communities,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank Tarentino.  “Of the hundreds of thousands of counterfeit pills seized in the PNW, alarmingly a high percentage contain a potentially lethal dose of fentanyl.  Our parents, educators, community leaders, and other people of influence can have a positive impact on young people by engaging in meaningful and honest conversations with the goal of understanding what our children are experiencing on social media and in the community. We can accomplish this with a holistic approach of enforcement, education, prevention and awareness.  Help save a life – go to DEA.gov/onepill and get engaged!”

The vast majority of counterfeit pills brought into the United States are produced in Mexico, and China is supplying chemicals for the manufacturing of fentanyl in Mexico. These counterfeit pills have been seized by DEA in every U.S. state in unprecedented quantities. DEA laboratory testing reveals a dramatic rise in the number of counterfeit pills containing at least two milligrams of fentanyl, which is considered a lethal dose. A deadly dose of fentanyl is small enough to fit on the tip of a pencil.   

Counterfeit pills are illegally manufactured by criminal drug networks and are made to look like real prescription opioid medications such as oxycodone (Oxycontin®, Percocet®), hydrocodone (Vicodin®), and alprazolam (Xanax®); or stimulants like amphetamines (Adderall®). Fake prescription pills are widely accessible and often sold on social media and e-commerce platforms – making them available to anyone with a smartphone, including minors.

The drug overdose crisis in the United States is a serious public safety threat with rates currently reaching the highest level in history. Drug traffickers are using fake pills to exploit the opioid crisis and prescription drug misuse in the United States, bringing overdose deaths and violence to American communities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 93,000 people died of a drug overdose in the United States last year. Fentanyl, the synthetic opioid most commonly found in counterfeit pills, is the primary driver of this alarming increase in overdose deaths. Drug poisonings involving methamphetamine, increasingly found to be pressed into counterfeit pills, also continue to rise as illegal pills containing methamphetamine become more widespread.  

DEA remains steadfast in its mission to protect our communities, enforce U.S. drug laws, and bring to justice the foreign and domestic criminals sourcing, producing, and distributing illicit drugs, including counterfeit pills.

This alert does not apply to legitimate pharmaceutical medications prescribed by medical professionals and dispensed by licensed pharmacists. The legitimate prescription supply chain is not impacted. Anyone filling a prescription at a licensed pharmacy can be confident that the medications they receive are safe when taken as directed by a medical professional.

The issuance of today’s Public Safety Alert coincides with the launch of DEA’s One Pill Can Kill Public Awareness Campaign to educate the public of the dangers of counterfeit pills. DEA urges all Americans to be vigilant and aware of the dangers of counterfeit pills, and to take only medications prescribed by a medical professional and dispensed by a licensed pharmacist. DEA warns that pills purchased outside of a licensed pharmacy are illegal, dangerous, and potentially lethal. For more information, visit https://www.dea.gov/onepill or scan the QR code below.

The issuance of today’s Public Safety Alert coincides with the launch of DEA’s One Pill Can Kill Public Awareness Campaign to educate the public of the dangers of counterfeit pills. DEA urges all Americans to be vigilant and aware of the dangers of counterfeit pills, and to take only medications prescribed by a medical professional and dispensed by a licensed pharmacist. DEA warns that pills purchased outside of a licensed pharmacy are illegal, dangerous, and potentially lethal. For more information, visit https://www.dea.gov/onepill or scan the QR code below.

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Wed. 09/22/21
BPA aligns people and strategy functions to drive its culture and competitiveness
Bonneville Power Administration - 09/22/21 3:26 PM

PR 13-21                                                                                                      BONNEVILLE POWER ADMINISTRATION
                                                            FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, Sept. 22, 2021
                                                                                       CONTACT: Maryam Habibi, 503-230-4413
                                                                                                                                            or 503-230-5131

BPA aligns people and strategy functions to drive its culture and competitiveness 
New organization enhances strategic capabilities and workplace culture efforts

 

Portland, Ore. – The Bonneville Power Administration’s executive structure is changing. The realignment by Administrator and CEO John Hairston will strengthen the agency’s strategic capabilities and enhance its commitment to its workforce. 

The move recognizes ongoing challenges posed by the pandemic and concerns about workers’ mental health and wellbeing. It also comes as BPA prepares to refresh its agency strategy and negotiate new long-term wholesale power contracts with its public utility customers. 

“The Northwest depends on BPA to deliver reliable, affordable, carbon-free power every day. That job is only getting more and more complicated,” said Hairston. “It’s just good business to ensure we do all we can to attract and retain the best talent, and to provide a workplace that drives employee satisfaction and productivity. That’s the best way to ensure we succeed in performing our public service mission, meeting our responsibilities and providing excellent service to our customers.”   

Dan James, who joined BPA’s leadership team in 2016 as deputy administrator, will now direct the agency’s new Workforce and Strategy Office.

“Dan brings passion and compassion to our people and cultural awareness efforts, as well as a breadth of strategic planning experience,” said Hairston. “As our new chief workforce and strategy officer, he will ensure we’re effectively planning and executing our strategies and boosting our employee recruitment, retention and diversity and inclusion efforts.”

The realignment brings the agency’s people-related and strategy functions into the same executive portfolio and refocuses the deputy administrator role. BPA’s Workforce and Strategy Office will include the agency’s existing communications, human resources, and Civil Rights and Equal Employment Opportunity organizations. The agency will also add two new organizations:  

  • The new Technology Innovation and Strategy Office will bring together strategic planning, technology research and development programs. Staff in this new office will report to the deputy chief workforce and strategy officer, Shana Kuhn. Kuhn, who recently served as chief supply chain officer, was selected as the first deputy chief workforce and strategy officer.
  • The new Culture Office will focus on the agency’s culture strategy, employee engagement, and diversity and inclusion functions. The new organization will be overseen by a new chief culture officer.

“People and intellectual and social capital are all essential elements of BPA’s competitiveness,” said Chief Workforce and Strategy Officer Dan James. “I’m excited to lead this new organization and support our strategic and workplace goals to ensure BPA’s success in a fast-changing industry and dynamic job market.” 

Under the new structure, the agency’s government affairs and compliance, audit and risk functions will now report to the administrator.

BPA’s chief operating officer will continue to advise on mission operations and the chief administrative officer will continue to oversee the agency’s support and business services missions, including BPA’s industry leading Safety organization. The new organizational changes go into effect on Sept. 26.

 

About BPA

The Bonneville Power Administration, headquartered in Portland, Oregon, is a nonprofit federal power marketer that sells wholesale, carbon-free hydropower from 31 federal dams in the Columbia River Basin. It also markets the output of the region’s only nuclear plant. BPA delivers this power to more than 140 Northwest electric utilities, serving millions of consumers and businesses in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, western Montana and parts of California, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming. BPA also owns and operates more than 15,000 circuit miles of high-voltage power lines and 261 substations, and provides transmission service to more than 300 customers. In all, BPA provides nearly a third of the power generated in the Northwest. To mitigate the impacts of the federal dams, BPA implements a fish and wildlife program that includes working with its partners to make the federal dams safer for fish passage. It also pursues cost-effective energy savings and operational solutions that help maintain safe, affordable, reliable electric power for the Northwest. www.bpa.gov 

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Attached Media Files: 2021-09/1236/148701/BPA-Organizational-Chart-Aug2021.pdf