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Tens of thousands of fentanyl pills seized in I-5 traffic stop

A Clackamas County man faces felony drug charges following a traffic stop near Ashland in which tens of thousands of pills resembling oxycodone were found, but actually were made from a deadly synthetic opiate.

Pavel V. Dubinstov, 22, of Damascus, faces charges of manufacturing and delivering a Schedule II controlled substance accusing him of transporting the fentanyl pills from California into Oregon in a 2008 Dodge Sprinter van with hidden compartments, according to documents filed last week in Jackson County Circuit Court and a release issued Thursday by the Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement task force.

On the afternoon of July 28, police stopped Dubinstov on northbound Interstate 5 at milepost 16 according to court documents. During the traffic stop, police impounded the van pending a drug investigation.

When MADGE executed a search warrant on the van two days after the stop, investigators say they found more than 10,000 blue-colored pills stamped with the number “30” on them inside a “hidden compartment.”

More than 60,000 pills were found inside a “hidden trap” inside the van, according to the release issued Thursday. MADGE said the pills were packaged in a way that attempted to mask their odor.

Each pill had a street value of roughly $50, according to MADGE.

Investigators believed the pills to be 30-milligram oxycodone, according to the release and earlier court documents. The blue pills were round with an “M” on one side and “30” on the other.

However, the pills tested positive for fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opiate known for its high risk of overdose because of its potency, which can be 50 to 100 times stronger than other opiates.

The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has called fentanyl America’s deadliest drug.

Near the pills, police also allegedly seized “several bundles of cash,” including $4,010 near a storage cubby above the driver’s seat.

Dubinstov was transporting the load to the Portland area, said Medford police Lt. Darrell Graham. These types of pills, which are pressed to mimic oxycodone but are much more potent and deadly, are increasingly common in Southern Oregon, he said.

Graham said no connection has been established between the rise in overdoses this summer and this arrest. He declined to comment on the potency of the pills.

Dubinstov also faces misdemeanor counts of delivering and possessing cocaine after police allegedly found less than a gram of the drug inside a jacket behind the driver’s seat.

MADGE arrested Dubinstov Aug. 6 on drug charges, Jackson County Jail records show. He was released the same day after posting a 10% bond on his bail, which was set at $42,500, according to a news release from MADGE.

At the beginning of this week, a grand jury indicted Dubinstov on felony counts of unlawfully delivering a Schedule II controlled substance and unlawfully delivering cocaine, and on misdemeanor charges of unlawfully possessing a Schedule II controlled substance and possessing cocaine.

Court records show that Dubinstov is scheduled to make his initial court appearance on the Jackson County charges Sept. 5.

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @MTCrimeBeat. Reach web editor Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@rosebudmedia.com, and reach reporter Kaylee Tornay at ktornay@rosebudmedia.com.

Pavel Dubinstov
The Medford Area Drug and Gang Enforcement alleges that the tens of thousands of fentanyl pills were packaged in a way that disguised their scent. Submitted photo