SAN DIEGO – A woman was arrested after law enforcement Tuesday found around 50,000 fake pills containing fentanyl in San Diego, authorities said.

Berenice Sanchez-Tapia, 47, was arrested on suspicion of attempted drug smuggling, Supervisory Special Agent Kameron Korte of the United States Drug Enforcement Administration stated in a press release Thursday.

Members of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Narcotic Task Force and San Diego police were able to prevent the fake pills from being distributed after around 50,000 fake pills containing fentanyl were seized, according to the DEA.

“This seizure is a great example of the successful collaboration between multiple law enforcement
agencies determined to prevent fake pills from making it to the streets of San Diego,” said DEA
Special Agent in Charge Shelly Howe. “DEA will continue to work with our local, state and federal
law enforcement partners to seize fake pills that endanger our community.”

From 2019 to 2021, the DEA saw nearly a 313% increase in fentanyl seizures in San Diego County.

“2,715 kilograms of fentanyl was seized in San Diego County in 2021, compared to 658 kilograms in 2019. These seizure numbers include fake pills and powders containing fentanyl and are projected to increase for 2022,” Korte said.

Sanchez-Tapia was also arraigned on Thursday.