Updated August 17th, 2021
A Stamford man pleaded guilty to manufacturing and distributing counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl analogues, prosecutors said.
STAMFORD, CT — According to a news release from Leonard C. Boyle, Acting U.S. Attorney for the District of Connecticut, Arber Isaku, a 31-year-old Stamford man, has pleaded guilty to manufacturing and distributing counterfeit oxycodone pills containing fentanyl analogues.
Analogue drugs, or designer drugs as they’re sometimes called, mimic the effects of the original drug.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Isaku and his associate, Vincent Decaro, 31, purchased fentanyl analogues from suppliers in China and, working out of Decaro’s residence at 77 West Hill Circle in Stamford, pressed the drug into counterfeit oxycodone pills, which they sold to customers on the dark web.
David Reichard, who lived for a short time at Decaro’s residence, helped Decaro and Isaku press pills and mail the pills to customers, Boyle said in a news release.
On April 3, 2018, Boyle noted, a court-authorized search of Decaro’s residence found numerous pills containing approximately 330 grams of fentanyl and acetyl fentanyl, approximately 40 grams of fentanyl analogues in powder form, three pill presses, instructions on how to prepare the fentanyl analogue Carfentanil, a hazardous material suit, a gas/respirator-type mask, and numerous U.S. Postal mail envelopes.
At the time of the search, Decaro and Isaku were in Europe. Boyle said that on Sept. 21, 2018, Decaro and Isaku were arrested by Albanian State Police as they were trying to cross the border from Albania into Kosovo. According to Boyle, a search of an apartment in Tirana where they had been staying found alprazolam, fentanyl and other controlled substances, tools and dies for pressing pills, and instructions for synthesizing fentanyl.
Isaku pleaded guilty to one count of possession with intent to distribute 100 grams or more of fentanyl analogues, the news release said. Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport scheduled sentencing for Oct. 29, 2021. Isaku is released on a $50,000 bond, pending sentencing.
Decaro and Reichard pleaded guilty to related charges and await sentencing, the news release said.
This case has been investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Drug Enforcement Administration, Connecticut State Police and Stamford Police Department, with the assistance of the Albanian State Police.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Doherty.