Mexican drug cartels use these emoji codes to sell pills

Mexico-based drug criminal networks and local Garden State dealers are now using social media apps to help distribute and sell millions of fake prescription pills containing fentanyl to users in New Jersey and New Jersey. other states.

And according to the United States Drug Enforcement Agency, in many cases, they use the emoji code in their social media posts.

No harmless pleasure

DEA New Jersey Special Agent Tim McMahon said drug vendors pair emojis to share information about what supplies they have or what deliveries will be made, and “often a parent can watch cell phone and just see a string of 4 or 5 emojis side by side and ignore it, but it could be the signal for some type of communication.

He said drug networks are always looking for new ways to communicate undetected.

“Unfortunately, what we’re seeing now with all the different social media apps out there, they’re using them as a medium of communication.”

He said that 25 years ago they communicated using pagers, then they switched to cellphones, then to chat features on online video game systems, and now they transmit information using sites like Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube and Instagram that anyone with a smartphone can easily access.

The pills look real but they are deadly

He pointed out that the pills entering the Garden State look almost exactly like Oxycontin, Percocet, Vicodin, Adderall, Xanax and others, but they may contain fentanyl and “about 2 mg is sufficient. to cause a fatal overdose “.

McMahon pointed out over the past year: “The DEA has seized more than 15,000 pounds of fentanyl, which equates to approximately 440 million potentially fatal doses.

The problem starts in China

He said most of the confiscated fentanyl is produced in China and then shipped to Mexico where it is processed into bulk shipments or individual tablets.

People who get addicted to prescription pain relievers will look for their supply on the street “and once you start doing this the user will have absolutely no idea if this is a legitimate pharmaceutical pill”, did he declare.

New Jersey is on track to surpass 3,200 drug overdose deaths in 2021, the highest annual total on record.

McMahon said some of the messaging tools on different social media sites automatically erase a message once it’s sent, so it’s not trackable.

He said the DEA is working with social media companies to help them identify this type of illegal activity so it can be stopped.

You can contact reporter David Matthau at [email protected]

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