Mexican drug cartels are manufacturing large doses of counterfeit prescription pills laced with fentanyl for distribution throughout North America, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) said Monday.

The DEA said its findings were based on a sampling of counterfeit pills seized nationwide between January and March 2019. 27 percent of the pills contained “potentially lethal doses of fentanyl,” they said.

“Capitalizing on the opioid epidemic and prescription drug abuse in the United States, drug trafficking organizations are now sending counterfeit pills made with fentanyl in bulk to the United States for distribution,” said DEA Acting Administrator Uttam Dhillon. “Counterfeit pills that contain fentanyl and fentanyl-laced heroin are responsible for thousands of opioid-related deaths in the United States each year.”