Yakima County Coroner file standing

The Yakima County Coroner's Office, from an undated file photo.

The Yakima County Coroner’s Office is warning people about a series of recent deaths associated with apparently counterfeit Oxycontin pills.

Coroner Jim Curtice said Wednesday that his office is investigating three deaths over the past five days involving the pills. Curtice said the pills appear to contain a potentially lethal amount of fentanyl; a sample has been sent to the Washington State Patrol’s crime lab for confirmation.

Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that’s up to 50 times more potent than heroin and 100 times more potent than morphine.

The pills are blue and round, with the number 30 on them. They’re about the same diameter as an ibuprofen pill but only half the thickness, Curtice said.

“Hopefully the description will help a family member or somebody identify them and seize them before someone takes them,” Curtice said.

He said anyone who sees a non-prescribed pill matching the description should call the Yakima County Sheriff’s Office at 509-574-2500.

This story has been updated. The coroner’s office originally advised the pills had a “33” on them, but later said that was the result of a typographical error and the pills actually have the number “30."