Candy-like rainbow fentanyl pills found in LEGO box as cartels eye kids: ‘Every parent’s worst nightmare’

As Halloween approaches, parents’ “worst nightmare” for their children is unfolding as Mexican cartels flood American cities with lethal rainbow-colored fentanyl that targets kids, with some of it even showing up in LEGO containers.

(Video Credit: Eyewitness News ABC7NY)

“These pills are hidden in pretty much anything imaginable. Traffickers are very innovative,” DEA agent Frank A. Tarantino III asserted. “This newly packaged poison is the cartel’s way of attracting new customers. This is calculated, it is deliberate, it is treacherous deception to make rainbow fentanyl look like candy. This is every parent’s worst nightmare.”

“Unequivocally, Mexico and China are an existential threat to the United States,” he charged, according to NBC New York.

The materials are reportedly supplied by the Chinese and the Mexican cartels make and distribute the drugs.

The pills look just like candy, according to law enforcement. Fortunately, there have been few, if any, cases of a child taking fentanyl after mistaking it for candy.

Drug enforcement agents arrested a New Jersey woman named Latesha Bush after she allegedly transported approximately 15,000 rainbow fentanyl pills into New York City. Many of the pills were hidden under blocks of LEGO. She was charged with criminal possession of a controlled substance and was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court on Friday. Bail was set at $25,000.

Bush was reportedly carrying a black tote bag wrapped around a large object as she got into a vehicle in front of 475 10th Avenue in Manhattan, according to prosecutors.

When the car was pulled over, Bush was in the backseat with two black tote bags and a yellow LEGO container. Inside the LEGO box were reportedly a number of brick-shaped packages covered in black tape along with brightly colored building blocks.

The tape on one of the packages had been partially opened. The rainbow-colored fentanyl pills could allegedly be seen inside.

Prior to getting busted, Bush traveled from New Jersey in a rental car. An investigation uncovered that the pills originated in Mexico.

The seizure of the pills comes as New York City’s narcotics prosecutor asserts that one person dies from an overdose of fentanyl every three hours.

“Overdose deaths are at a record high and 80% of them are related to fentanyl,” special narcotics prosecutor Bridget Brennan charged. “It is critically important to educate the public on this new form that fentanyl is taking across the country and yes, we know it is here in New York.”

“Using happy colors to make a deadly drug seem fun and harmless is a new low, even for the Mexican cartels. 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,” she warned.

“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,’ Police Commissioner Keechant L. Sewell declared in a statement.

According to prosecutors, the Mexican drug cartels are manufacturing the pills and then stamping them to look like oxycodone.

The Sinaloa Cartel and Jalisco New Generation Cartel are mass-producing fentanyl pills in rainbow colors to deliberately mimic candy or other legitimate prescription drugs. It’s their brand and it takes a very small amount to kill a person.

“The lethality of fentanyl, we are talking two milligrams. That is the amount of fentanyl that can fit on the tip of a pencil. It’s approximately 10 to 20 grains of salt,” Tarantino explained. Fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 times more potent than heroin.

“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” he said, according to Local12 News.

“These medications are incredibly potent. Fifty times more potent than heroin. A hundred times more potent than morphine, which is what we give for cancer patients, for those who are on the front lines in battlefields,” family medicine physician Dr. Mikhail Varshavski told the media outlet.

In a recent 15-week operation, investigators claim that 40 percent of the pills they examined contained a lethal dose of fentanyl. New York state has seized 500,000 of the deadly pills in several busts across the state.

The “One Pill Can Kill initiative” is reporting that between May 23 and September 8, 10.2 million fentanyl pills and about 980 pounds of fentanyl powder were seized by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

According to the Daily Mail, “Of the 390 cases investigated during this period, 51 cases have been linked to overdose poisonings and 35 cases link directly to one or both of the primary Mexican cartels responsible for the majority of fentanyl in the United States – the Sinaloa Cartel and the Jalisco New Generation Cartel (CJNG).”

In 2021 alone, 107,622 Americans died from drug poisoning or overdose. Sixty-six percent (almost 71,030 deaths) were attributed to fentanyl. It first appeared on the scene in February 2022 and pills have been seized in 21 states, according to the DEA.

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