Detectives put out warning following string of fentanyl overdoses, pills disguised as Percocet

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — Metro narcotics detectives are trying to warn the public after a new wave of overdose deaths due to fentanyl.

Fentanyl is a deadly synthetic opioid that dealers use as a cheap filler with other drugs.

Gwinnett County narco detectives told Channel 2′s Tony Thomas that fentanyl is now being pressed into pills and it’s killing unsuspecting buyers.

At the time, Andrew and Dionne Butler had no idea that their daughter Clara, 17, had bought a Percocet pill from a dealer.

“She came into our room that night and said ‘I love you,’” Andrew Butler said.

“She took the Percocet,” Dionne Butler said.

“Why?” Thomas asked.

“Just for fun, I think,” Dionne Butler said.

Clara overdosed that night. As it turned out, the pill was pure fentanyl.


“She was on the phone even at 2 a.m. looking up symptoms of overdose. She was on the phone with, I guess, the person who had sold her the pill, trying to figure out what it was,” Andrew Butler said. “I feel like I failed.”

The Butlers buried Clara over the weekend.

She is one of the latest victims in a string of overdoses Gwinnett County police say is due to pressed pills billed as Percocet, but in reality are in some cases straight fentanyl.

“To the naked eye, it looks like you are getting a pill that is a prescription pill,” said Officer Hideshi Valle with the Gwinnett County Police Department.

As the overdose deaths mount — three to four a week in Gwinnett — narcotics detectives are trying to cut off the source and warn teens and their parents.

“When you actually hold the pill, it’s not going to be the same consistency. It’s going to break apart,” Valle said.

“The one positive coming out of this is that a lot of people are talking to their kids about it,” Andrew Butler said.

The Butlers told Thomas that they had tried repeatedly to talk with Clara, but the warnings didn’t work.

Through their grief, they find comfort in their faith and the hope others will listen.

“I wish she would have come and got us,” Dionne Butler said.

Because of the number of fentanyl-related deaths, Gwinnett police are now sending an investigator out to every overdose call, looking closer for clues that can lead to the dealer and a criminal case.