'Rainbow' Fentanyl Pills Found in LEGO Box in NYC

'Rainbow' Fentanyl Pills Found in LEGO Box in NYC

A New Jersey woman has been arrested in connection to the discovery of "trafficker-quantities" of fentanyl.

On Tuesday, October 4, the DEA and its law enforcement partners issued a press release about the seizure of a large LEGO container containing 15,000 "rainbow" fentanyl pills, which officials have since determined is the "largest to date in New York City." The drugs were found on September 28 after investigators looking into a fentanyl trafficking ring stopped a car on the Manhattan side of the Lincoln Tunnel. The suspect has since been charged by the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor with first- and third-degree criminal possession of a controlled substance.

Imprinted with the "M" and "30" usually found on Oxycodones, New York City special narcotics prosecutor Bridget G. Brennan said the multi-colored pills were also packaged to "look like candy," before calling the use of " happy colors to make a deadly drug seem fun and harmless" a "new low."

"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," Brennan said. "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."

According to the report, the seizure "highlights Mexican cartels’ most recent tactics to attract the public while deceiving them about the lethal drugs," which involve "mass-producing fentanyl pills in rainbow colors to not only brand their products, but [using] colors and dyes to mimic candy and/or legitimate prescription drugs."

"Disguising fentanyl as candy – and concealing it in children’s toys – will never hide the fact that fentanyl is a deadly poison that harms our communities, our families, and our city," as NYPD Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell said. "The criminal complaint unsealed today is another example of the NYPD’s relentless commitment to never stop working to rid New York City of illegal drugs."

You can read the DEA's official report on the seizure here.

If you feel like you are struggling with addiction and could use some support, please call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration at 1-800-662-HELP.

Illustration via Shutterstock / shane-o-matic