Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

December 3, 2013

Pills believed to be filled with heroin

Tim Preston
The Independent

ASHLAND — Following what appears to have been an effort to make even more money from an illegal drug transaction, members of the Boyd County Sheriff’s Department have arrested three after confiscating counterfeit oxycodone capsules believed to be filled with heroin.

Sgt. Rob Donta said the pills were represented as different strengths of oxycodone, a pharmaceutical narcotic painkiller compound. Field tests, however, showed the capsules were not vacuum sealed, which is standard for any prescription drug, and the powder inside to be something other than oxycodone.

Donta said the first buy was made Friday when Billy Wilson delivered pills to Steve Wilson, who has been selling from Bruce Apartments in Ashland. A second purchase was made Sunday, Donta said, again with Billy Wilson delivering to the apartment where Steve Wilson had been staying. Each time, Donta said, Billy Wilson arrived in a 2007 Cadillac Escalade driven by Crystal Wilson.

Law enforcement officers stopped the Escalade driven by Crystal Wilson and Billy Wilson, and obtained search warrants for the vehicle as well as the apartment where Stephen Wilson is believed to have been staying and selling drugs. A search of the apartment did not result in­ additional drugs, although the vehicle driven by Crystal Wilson was found to contain pills with an estimated street value between $6,000 and $7,000, Donta said.

The pills were suspicious because there were no markings, “no letters and no numbers,” Donta said, adding the pills did not pass a simple test (bouncing when dropped on a hard surface), which made investigators suspicious of the origin and contents.

“They sell for $30 and $40. One was a yellow and gray and was sold as a 35-mg oxycodone. The other was red and white and sold as a 25-mg oxycodone,” Donta said, noting the 25- and 35-milligram dosages are unusual in America, although it is a standard dosage in Australia as well as Asian-market countries.

Donta explained heroin, or other substances, can be used to replace oxycodone, which sells for more per milligram. A pill filled with heroin will result in an nearly identical “high” as oxycodone, Donta said, adding users can inject, snort or swallow either. A field test confirmed the substance inside the confiscated capsules was an opiate, although a more sophisticated laboratory test will be required to determine if the substitute substance is indeed heroin.

“Even if it is oxycodone it is not pharmaceutical,” Donta said, explaining users face an increased chance of overdose with heroin due to the inconsistent purity and strength associated with the illicit drug. Donta said the sheriff’s department will ask the state crime lab to put a rush on the analysis, although he could not say when those test results are expected.

Donta said Billy Wilson, 27, and Crystal Wilson, 27, are known to reside on May Street in Ashland although each had a Florida driver’s license listing their address as Ft. Myers, and the vehicle they were driving was registered to a Lexington address. Billy Wilson was previously involved in the federal drug investigation involving Rick Young and Charlie Angel, Donta said. He and Crystal Wilson were each charged with trafficking a controlled substance first degree. Stephen Wilson (age unavailable) of 1715 Clements Dr. (Bruce Apartments) was likewise charged with trafficking a controlled substance first degree, and each was taken to the Boyd County Detention Center.

TIM PRESTON can be reached at tpreston@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2651.