DEA issues warning for rainbow-colored fentanyl pills that look like candy ahead of Halloween

1 min read

NEW YORK, NY – The Drug Enforcement Agency recently stopped a New Jersey woman transporting large quantities rainbow colored fentanyl-laced pills that could be mistaken for candy during Halloween.

Police arrested the Trenton, New Jersey woman as she was trafficking 15,000 pills into New York City, hidden in a LEGO box to cancel her haul. The pills have an “M” and “30” printed on them to resemble 30-milligram oxycodone hydrochloride pills.

Concerning the DEA was their candy-like appearance so close to Halloween. The agency does not know exactly how many of those pills are now in circulation.

“This significant seizure, the largest to date in New York City, signals more widespread distribution of these dangerous colorful pills. The case highlights Mexican cartels’ most recent tactics to attract the public while deceiving them about the lethal drugs. The Sinaloa Cartel and Jalisco New Generation Cartel are mass-producing fentanyl pills in rainbow colors to not only brand their products but use colors and dyes to mimic candy and/or legitimate prescription drugs,” the DEA said in a statement today,

“Rainbow fentanyl is a clear and present danger, and it is here in New York City,” said DEA Special Agent in Charge Frank Tarentino.  “Approximately forty percent of the pills we analyze in our lab contain a lethal dose; and in a recent 15-week enforcement operation, DEA New York seized half a million lethal pills. These staggering statistics underscore the importance of reminding the public that just one pill can kill; and this operation alone removed the equivalent of 500,000 lethal doses of fentanyl from circulation in the Empire State. In the same reporting period, DEA seized the equivalent of over 36 million lethal doses nationally.” 

NYC Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan said, “Using happy colors to make a deadly drug seem fun and harmless is a new low, even for the Mexican cartels. Fentanyl is already involved in more than 80% of overdose deaths in the city. If you take any drug sold on the street or through the internet, regardless of its medicinal markings or festive appearance, you risk your life.  My office and our partners are committed to intercepting lethal fentanyl and ensuring that these rainbow-colored pills don’t lead more people down a sad path of substance use and overdose death.”

Police arrested Latesha Bush as a result of the investigation.

which is comprised of agents and officers with DEA New York Division and the New York City Police Department.  SNP’s Investigators Unit assisted in the investigation.

According to the DEA, on Wednesday, September 28, at approximately 7:11 p.m., members of NYDETF Group T-12 were conducting surveillance as part of an ongoing investigation into narcotics trafficking when they allegedly observed Bush carrying what appeared to be a black tote bag wrapped around a large object as she entered a vehicle in front of 475 10th Avenue in Manhattan.